Saturday, March 21, 2009

9 Pregnant Sheep

Boy, I was right on time yesterday - any moment now included LAST NIGHT! Daphne and Marcia both had lambs last night.

Larry came in to tell me that 2 of the sheep had lambs. Since I had been watching them (they usually bleed a little before they give birth - we saw that on Laverne) I was surprised that it would have happened last night. When I asked him who - he said "I don't know, 2 that don't like me." I'm the only one who cares about their names, I guess. But it was Daphne and Marcia. It seems those evening I would hang out in the sheep stall, just sitting with them, have paid off. They are less afraid of me than they are of Larry.

When I went in the stall, it seemed apparent that Daphne had had one lamb, and Marcia had three. It's possible. But there was one that wanted to be with her, and she kept head-butting her into the barn. That is very bad. Since she wasn't letting her eat, we thought we'd put her next to Daphne and see what happened. Daphne is showing signs of being a good mommie - she adopted this poor rejected lamb, and things were shaping up. If Daphne hadn't given birth the same night, I am not sure what would have happened to Marcia's lambs. She is NOT showing signs of being a good mommie (she even laid down on one of her babies as it was trying to drink) and she seems to walk away from them a lot. We are going to separate them into a separate stall tonight so the lambs can find their moms and get some milk during the night.

This is Fred, Daphne's ram lamb. He has done a great job of eating, and seems to like napping by himself. I think he's going to be an independent little guy.

\This is Sparks, Marcia's ram lamb. He's also doing well at eating, and likes to nap next to mom.

Here is Daphne with Fred and Ginger. Ginger is to the left, and will try to drink from either sheep. I think she knows Marcia is her mom, but Marcia keeps pushing her away - Daphne will come and rescue her if Marcia rejects her, and seems pretty protective of her. That's Fred standing underneath Daphne.

Here is Marcia with Sparks in front, and Trouble next to her. You can barely see her.

I waited all morning and early afternoon to see this! This is Trouble finally trying to drink from Marcia. Marcia kept walking away from her, and I kept trying to feed her from a bottle. She scared the dickens out of me when she fell asleep in my lap and slid OFF my lap. I thought she had gone unconscious. She wasn't taking to the bottle, and her heart rate and breathing were getting really stressed. She wouldn't open her eyes, and I was getting scared that we were losing her. I took a break to run inside and change my clothes, and when I came out, I saw this. I'll continue watching her, because Marcia doesn't seem to notice her - if she needs supplemental feeding, I'll make sure she gets it. But I know this - we won't keep Marcia's babies, and we'll give Marcia another chance, but if she gets into a habit of rejecting her babies, we won't keep her, either.

While I was hanging out with the sheep, I saw a few other things this morning, too...

All the other sheep wanted in. We separated them out so that the lambs didn't have to search for their mothers.

Apparently, chickens really dig taking dirt baths in the compost. Hmmm, that stuff is destined for my garden - it's not a day spa for chickens!

Goliath is the dirtiest dog in the world. Not only does he jump in the stinky pond, he then rolls in dirt. Yes, you are getting a bath, dirty pooch!

Two roosters decided they were not friends today. And they commenced quite a fight, right in front of me. You'd think they could get along. There are over 100 hens, and just about a dozen roosters. Can't they share?