Monday, June 3, 2013
Lambing Season Is Over...I Think.
This past five days of lambing season has been so wonderful and filled with awe at what God has created. I can't get over the fact that I used to just have sheep, but now I can say that I'm a Scottish Blackface Breeder. I knew I liked this breed a lot, but now it's confirmed. These ewes have turned out to be fantastic mamas, dedicated to caring for their new lambs, and have very good maternal instincts. They labor unassisted and have plenty of milk. The babies are thriving and quick to get up and nurse. All that I have just said are blessings. New lambs mean that my flock will increase and that we will have meat for the freezer.
Fernie and Flora both had baby ewe lambs and even though it's not confirmed, I'm pretty sure that Juice had a ram lamb last night. Juice's lamb was the only one born with horn buds and so I'm pretty sure the newest lamb is a dude. I will confirm it tonight when the shearer slicks the mamas.
If you've been keeping up this past week on the blog and on Facebook, then you'll know that I've been checking these ladies constantly throughout the day and into the night. I didn't want to miss the births, but even with my persistence I still missed the first two. I was determined to NOT miss the third. Yesterday afternoon while I was checking up on Flora and her new baby I walked over to the other side of the barn to have a peek at Juice. I could tell something was different and it made me very, very excited. I promptly walked over to my hubby and said, "If I were a betting woman, I'd say Juice is going to have her baby by tonight."
Little did I know.
Dinner was done, kids were bathed and in bed, and I decided to go out to the barn...again. I walked in and my eyes about popped out of my head! Juice was in labor and it was clear as day! I ran to Seth and told him that Juice was laboring. I may or may not have been jumping up and down in the street, I'll let you draw your own conclusions...
Next thing I know I'm heading to the barn with my iphone, camera, and tri-pod in tow. My heart was beating a bazillion beats a minute and I was thanking God for letting me at least see one of my ewe's give birth. At first I didn't let Juice know I was there and I was peeking over the edge of the pen (it's a big board) dodging her glances. Sheep are natural prey and so I didn't want her to stress about me watching. That all flew out the window when she got down to business though, I really don't think at that point she cared. If you've birthed a baby, I'm sure you know the feeling.
While Juice was in misery I kind of chuckled as I looked over to Flora, she had this look on her face and it was as if she was saying, "been there, done that." Can you find her lamb?
Seth joined me not too far into Juice's labor and he got to see it too. His first one and I dare say that he thought it was pretty cool. Cause you know, it was.
At 11 o'clock pm Juice finally gave birth to her beautiful healthy lamb and guess what? I got it on video!
Warning: This is a video of a sheep giving birth. It is graphic and Juice was baaing quite a bit as she pushed the lamb out. It can be unnerving to someone who isn't used to it so I suggest you a) listen and know that this is normal b) turn your sound off or c) don't watch. I just don't want you to start watching this and not know what your gonna see.
Oh, and I apologize for my POOR videoing skills. I haven't figured out how to take a decent video with my camera. Sorry.
Seriously, I'm sorry. You'll soon know why...
Juice was such a good mama. Even though she was exhausted from just giving birth, she got right up and started to clean up her lamb. It is so neat to see those maternal instincts kick in. She was doing the mama grunt and the little lamb was answering back. Already a bond is building between mother and baby.
Isn't this just amazing? Here's one more video for you. I hope you have enjoyed this glimpse into farm life.