Sunday, December 19, 2010

Donner and Blitzen

Welcome Donner and Blitzen! First time mama ewe, Betty, gave birth yesterday to Donner and Blitzen, two ram lambs. She is seen below with Donner.

It was a very cold day, and quite often, first time moms are a little dazed. Actually, sheep have a hormone that puts them in a trance while they give birth. Lucky Sheep! The problem is, when it's their first time, they often have no idea what's going on. Especially if they have twins for their first time, they may inadvertantly abandon one, because they don't know what just happened.

These two got to snuggle under a blanket on the heat pad for a while, because they were so COLD! Mama had no idea what was going on. Also, mamas have a wax plug over their teats that can be hard to remove, especially for a brand new lamb. For a first time mom, that plug can be pretty hard to remove. They can also be engorged, where it hurts for the lambs to nurse. I know how that feels! And they will walk away, or kick at the lambs when they try to drink. She seemed to be suffering from ALL of the above.

Donner was able to get a drink from mom, but Blitzen was really struggling. So we decided to give him a bottle to give him some strength to fight the cold, and try to get to mom again.

But this morning, Blitzen was still shivering, even after a night on the heat pad. So he got to come inside to warm up all the way through, and to get another drink from the bottle..

Atlas and Goliath were very concerned about why a little lamb wasn't out in the barn with his mom. They needed to check him out and make sure he's OK.