#LAMBMETRICS for the day
Drysdale & English Leicester Flocks
Born today: 6
Total Lambs Born: 51
Drysdale lambs (live total): [no purebreds in 2019]
DrysdaleX lambs (total): 27
English Leicester lambs (live total): 23
Total Sets of Twins born: 11
Total Sets of Triplets born: 0
Total ewe lambs: 23
Total ram lambs: 28
Ewes lambed /68: 40 (58.8 %)
Lamb % : 125 % [live]
Notable Midwifery tales:
May as well get the bad news out of the way – the sick English Leicester lamb passed away overnight. 🙁 When we went over for the late feed there was improvement and we went to bed more hopeful but, as so often happens, it was the final “rally” before the end. His mum is upset but she’s moved on from standing over him so she’s doing okay (Have had Drysdale ewes want to stand over the lamb for days.)
But! It wasn’t all bad. The good news was that the other lambs that were worrying us last night are all okay! Lambs are being fed and the lamb with the odd shoulder and “ad hoc bandage” is able to get itself up and about and feeding well.
After the bottle-feeding and the initial checks of a newborn lamb it was on to check the rest of the lambs. Bedlam!
Then it was a quick walk across the paddock to the flock of Merino and Castledale ewes to shift them into a new paddock. Only had to call once and they came running.
There was a fair bit of skipping and jumping when they went through the gate. They are relishing not having “grown-up responsibilities” this year!
By lunchtime there were three more ewes that had lambed – two sets of twins and a single. All English Leicester.
This evening though was when the fun started. The first thing noticed upon arrival for evening feed and chores was that the young, black, English Leicester ewe (pictured above) had “lost” her lamb….. It had been lambnapped!
When her “Imperial Highness” Kimmy passed away at the start of the year (at the Grand age of 14) we thought the serious lambnapping days were over.
Hermione* has now decided to take up the mantle that was laid down by her mother, Kimmy. (Family tradition – Kimmy’s mother was a thief too!)
Separating the desperate mother-to-be, Hermione, from the timid, bewildered first-time mother was tricky. The young ewe wouldn’t follow her lamb well enough but Hermione would. So, it ended up that the first course of action was to use the lamb to get Hermione up and out of the paddock.
Once the lambnapper was removed from the scene the lamb was returned to its mother who was a bit unsure about the whole drama. Unfortunately, Hermione had been licking the lamb (and letting it drink!) which puts her scent on the lamb and which puts the actual mother off believing it’s hers!
The young ewe was left to re-bond with her lamb and the next procedure was to stop Hermione stealing the other newborn from the morning! And she was determined! Again, we had to use that newborn to tempt Hermione into the pens in the shed as well as get the actual mother in as well. That ewe, a maiden Drysdale, was also a bit confused but she was more strongly bonded than the black ewe so it was easier. They were tucked into a pen at one end of the shed and Hermione was firmly placed into a pen at the other end. If she’s anything like her mother she will have a lamb tonight or tomorrow.
Getting the young, black ewe up to the shed for penning overnight was a test of patience. She isn’t as quiet as the rest of the girls and they normally follow you quite well if you’re carrying the lamb. Not this one. Took strategic person-placement and judicious use of shed-friendly ewes (ie. one of the ones whose lambs are being bottle-fed) to get her into the shed for some quiet bonding time.
The night-time check is about happen so stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode! 😉
* Hermione is English Leicester X Drysdale, along with her twin brother – Harry. She has had 2 previous pregnancies.