The last few years I’ve kept track of the lambing statistics in the Drysdale flock (& now English Leicester flock too). I call these “LambMetrics”.
Hopefully, they provide a little insight into the real-life “goings-on” here.
#LAMBMETRICS for the day
Drysdale & English Leicester Flocks
Born today: 6
Total Lambs Born: 9
Drysdale lambs (live total): 4
DrysdaleX lambs (total): 5
English Leicester lambs (live total): 0
Total Sets of Twins born: 2
Total Sets of Triplets born: 0
Total ewe lambs: 3
Total ram lambs: 6
Ewes lambed /73: 7 (9.5 %)
Lamb % : 100 % [live]
Notable Midwifery tales:
Yesterday was straightforward with 3 single lambs being born.
Today started with a set of twins, a dystocia, an attempted “thieving” and basically spiralled from that…!
Each morning the ewes are shifted from the night paddock into the day paddock. This helps to drift off the newborn lambs and mothers. It also helps to deal with a certain number of “thieving mothers” who, when starting to feel the first stirrings of birthing hormones, start to see every newborn lamb as “theirs”. It’s not so much of an issue when the lambs are singles but when there are twins it is all too easy for a ewe to sneak one off while the real mother is attending to the other lamb. In the big scheme of things I don’t care who feeds the lambs – as long as they are fed – but with a stud setup I need to keep accurate records on who is the mother of who!
So, this morning, I noted there was a new set of twins born and by the time I had shifted all the other ewes out of the paddock and came back there was a labouring ewe who was trying to claim one of the twins.
One good thing about my Drysdales is that they are so quiet they will essentially follow me – like alpaca do – when I pick the the lamb and move off. So, I moved the twins and then came back to give the attempted thief a little bit of a hand to get her lamb out so that she was fully satisfied with her lot.
Then, it was onto checking the last handful of commercial ewes who haven’t lambed. And found one upside down and “stuck”. Helped her (unfortunately, too late for her lamb) back up on her feet again and then there was another maiden ewe who looked suspiciously like she needed help. Sure enough, her lamb was large and stuck fast. It didn’t take much to get out though. Being concerned about her lack of “mothering” towards the lamb I collected her with the tractor and she spent a good portion of the day in the shed adjusting to “motherhood”.
Meanwhile, another Drysdale ewe had lambed (twins) in the day paddock and, again, there was a starry-eyed ewe trying to pinch a lamb. Grabbed the lambs and got ewe and offspring safely into a different paddock.
And that was just the morning.
The afternoon was quite chaotic with badly behaved maiden ewes and a new set of triplets (all in the commercials) as well as juggling newborn Drysdales around into the shed for the night.
Most of the lambs are sired by the same Drysdale ram so far. However, today, Gilbert finally had his first offspring born. 🙂