Sunday, January 26, 2014

Unexpected Triplets

 I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 new little lambs in the barn this morning. Since I had two mamas left to give birth, I only assumed that they both did. I wasted about 15 minutes trying to get Gertrude to go back into the barn to tend to her lamb. Sharon never left their sides. Knowing that Gertrude IS a pain in the rear, but NOT a bad mama (she's one of the more protective ones) and seeing the size of the littlest lamb that Sharon was still working to clean off, I realized, my brand new mama had triplets!

Sharon is Shirley's daughter from last year. Shirley, until now, was the only mama we had that bore triplets, she tends to give us triplets every other year.  Shirley is now nine and a half years old, so I have been trying to keep her genetics whenever she gives us ewes. We have two of her daughters, Peppermint Patty and Sharon, and one granddaughter - Clarice.   Shirley's genetics are also beneficial because she is out only 100% hair sheep - no shearing!

Peppermint Patty has lambed 3 times, giving us a single, twins and another single. Clarice has lambed twice, giving us singles both times (one of them being the very lovely Beyla!) Sharon is off to a good start, she's almost all hair and sheds well, like her mama, and her first time out of the gate, she gives us beautiful triplets. One of them is super teeny, just not enough room to grow inside a new mama's tummy. 

They are all ewe lambs, often ram lambs are a bit bigger than their sisters, but all three of these are different in size.

Here is the first born, Sol (sun). She clearly had time to nurse with mama between lambings, and was already full and napping in the sun.

 Here we have the second born on the right, Nanna (mother). She had a great latch and was nursing from mama for a while.  Gersemi (precious one) is on the left. She's the smallest lamb I have ever seen.  I'll try to get a photo of all three together so you can see their size difference. It won't last long.

Mama's udders went from grapefruit sized to basketball size over night. Just like her own mama, I have no doubt she can take care of all three of her young.  It's a nice warm day today, but to make sure these lambs all get a strong bond with mama, they will be locked in a stall today. It's easy for new lambs to get lost in the jumble at the hay feeder. And we don't need any stressed out babies or mamas.