Sunday, April 10, 2011

Surprise Lambs

I kind of had a suspicion that we weren't yet done with lambs. At least I did the math and it said that we might not be done. Since Archie left in mid December, that means our two ewes who haven't given birth (Gertrude and Pebbles) have until mid May before we can really declare them infertile for the season. So when Larry said there was a surprise in the barn, I said, "Gertrude had a lamb?" She was acting funny that morning. And there they were, two little scrawny little things. Since it's been months since our last lambs, and it's hard to be in the Christmas pop culture spirit, I didn't name them holiday themed names. I saw the little ewe lamb, and the name Sprite just came to me. Which made me think, what could I name a ram that goes with that? So I thought long and hard, and couldn't get past those little annoying guys from the movie, Willow, and named him Brownie.

Here is little Brownie checking out mom, while she eats some oats.

and this is little Sprite, having a rest after filling her belly. Both are doing great, running and jumping, and trying to play with the big lambs, who are eat least twice their size!

In the meantime, I posted this video of Gertude being Gertrude. She's a feisty one, and very protective of her lambs. Moose is afraid of her, as has been most pet dogs we have had. She gave Hobbes the what for on many occasions, and has knocked Moose across a stall once or twice. So I share with you, the Gertude stomp. Most sheep will stomp to tell you they are mad and don't want you to come closer. Most of them don't do it to me at all anymore, as they are not threatened by me...but once Gertude has lambs, you better watch out! Enjoy!

On a sadder note, we may lose a lamb. It won't be the first, as we have had 2 stillborns this year, as well as a very young lamb get strangled in some cord last year. But Frosty is a couple of months old, and looks like he has tetanus. We gave him some penicillin, but he is stiff as a board. He can't stand, and can't lay down properly, and his mother has sort of abandoned him. She still looks for him, but refuses to let him nurse. His jaw is locked, so we are trying to bottle feed him some water. but it doesn't look good. He's stuck on his side, and he's miserable. I don't know how to help him at this point. The book says 80% fatality rate, not sure if we could have caught it any sooner, and not sure how to prevent it, either. He did have a small cut on his leg from squeezing through the fence, though Larry thinks it's from our castration process. either way, torn about what do to, and thinking it might be the merciful thing to do to kill him. But that's really not easy, especially if the penicillin might kick in and he might turn around. I just feel awful watching an animal suffer.