Thursday, February 7, 2008
Another Lamb Tail
As much fun as lambing is, it can be sad too. Some of the girls lose their babies but when all the pieces fall into place at the right time, we can give them a new one. Remember this ewe? She's been around a while and has always had an easy lambing. This time it didn't work out. She was expecting triplets. The first lamb born was a small one but the next two were large and stuck in the birth canal. Scott pulled them both out, but they were dead. Two days later the first born died too. She's a good mother and it wasn't her fault so when another set of triplets were born we decided to give her one. Triplets aren't exactly welcome by ranchers. Sheep can easily feed two lambs but if there is a third, it ends up not getting enough. They rarely do well unless someone (aka Jenny) walks out to the barn every couple of hours to feed it a bottle. So we took one new baby and left the new mom to bond with her twins. OK, here's where it gets a little tricky and well, quite a bit gross. You have to fool the faux-mom into believing this is her dead baby come back to life. (hey, it's sheep - they're not all that smart) In order to do that you gotta make it smell like her baby. You (aka Scott) have to skin the dead baby and wrap the new baby in the pelt. The new baby hasn't bonded with anyone and dosen't mind her new coat. She would be happy just to have breakfast so for her first meal we (aka Scott) roll the ewe on her back and make sure the lamb gets a belly full. The ewe doesn't know what to do with this lamb. It smells like hers but then again it doesn't. She keeps butting it trying to see if her lamb is under this impostor. The baby just wants to be loved but for the rest of the day we (aka Scott) will have to keep checking on her and make sure she's getting enough to eat until the ewe accepts her. Sometimes it can take a week. It's another "wait and see" situation. The next morning I snuck up to their stall to see what they were doing and I found this cozy and happy situation...
Posted by Jenny Glen at 10:27 AM