Monday, September 23, 2013

Heimdall, Mist, Skogul and Skeggold

We had 4 lambs born this weekend. I'll start with the newest, born on Sunday. Betty spent most of the day in labor, but eventually we heard the sound of brand new lambs. Betty is the daughter of Laverne, and she's a good mama, but she wanted to be left alone during labor. She's let me pet her since.  With her are her ewe and ram lambs. Facing us is Mist, her ewe lamb. Not facing us is Heimdall, her ram lamb. These two are already jumping about and acting like healthy little lambs. Their mama is attentive and wonderful.
This brings us to Saturday's lambs. Trouble gave us 2 ewe lambs, Skogul and Skeggold. Both Valkyrie names. Trouble's 2 lambs were born with birth defects, the first time we've had this. The rest of this post might be informative to you, it might trigger sadness or other not happy emotions, so scroll down if you'd like. Move on, if you want happy news.
This is Skogul, Larry and Squeazy call her "Spaz".  Skogul might have a condition called "wry neck" or possibly a deviated spine. She can walk, we try to get her to nurse, but her mama has since rejected her. She can't control her head very well, and shakes it about, looking a lot like Stevie Wonder in the middle of a song he really enjoys singing. She has a hard time controlling where she walks, because she can't see, as her head is sometimes off to the side, sometimes bent backwards against her spine. She can drink from a bottle, and has gotten some milk straight from mama, but mama has turned her back on her, so she's ours to feed now.

Skeggold seems to have a partially cleft palate, as well as some spinal issues. Her spinal issues are not as severe as her sisters, and she has a better time with walking and trying to nurse. However, she does have some muscle control issues with her head, coupled with a lack of an upper lip - she struggles to latch on to mama. If we hold her still, we can make it happen, but she can drink from a bottle. Both lambs require their heads to be held during nursing to keep the nipple in their mouth. They are hungry, they are fighters. If their spines or neck muscles can get under control, we think they will be fine. Skeggold does have an upper palate, so it is likely she will be able to pull grass when she is older. If she can't feed herself, her future looks grim. We are considering the long term health of these lambs, for now, we are hoping that time and strength from feedings will help them gain control of their muscles, and hopefully bring a bright future for them. We don't want to discuss the other option, but we know we will exercise it if it's the best for the animal.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Brynhildr, and a little lesson on Norse Mythology

So another little lamb was born last night. We named her Brynhildr.  In order to start understanding our naming scheme this year, I am going to give you a very brief and slightly academic lesson on Norse Mythology.

I named our first two lambs Odin and Frigg. Many of you will recognize the name Odin. He's the All Father, sometimes recounted as the ruler of Valhalla, the God of the Gods. Thor is his son. Odin, Woden, Woten - he has many spellings. He has wolves and ravens at his disposal and there are great stories around all of this. He even hung himself from Yggdrasil do gain the knowledge of the alphabet, which he passed on to humanity. He fights Jotnar, and like the rest of the Gods, waits for Ragnarok. I always hear WIll Ferrel's voice in my head, from Ron Burgundy, saying "Great Odin's Ravens!" as an exclamation. I love it.  So fitting that we named our first born, our first ram, Odin.  Frigg is his wife (I know, my lambs are brother and sister, get over it).  Frigg can see the future but can not speak of it.  Are you yet seeing some similarities to Greek and Roman mythology?  You'll see more, wait until I tell you about Baldr, but not until I name one Baldr!

So to keep this brief and not get into the entirety here, I just wanted to discuss the names I have already chosen. The lastest is Brynhildr. Norse Mythology has a group of women named the Valkyries. There are bunches of them.  The Valkyries decide which warriors survive battle and which don't.  Half of the ones they choose get to join Odin in Valhalla. (The other half join Freyja in Folkvangr - more about her later). There are scores of Valkyrie - and I shall be using many of their names for our ewe lambs.. so get ready.

Brynhildr means "Armor Battle" - clearly the name of a warrior.  Our little Brynhildr was born to Peppermint Patty - who is quite protective of her little warrior.