Sunday, January 20, 2013

Was that a meep?

I let the dogs out first thing in the morning to go to the bathroom and I thought I heard a meep.  We have five babies out in the barn so I just attributed it to that.  Monica wanted waffles for breakfast so I sat and drank coffee while "supervising" the waffle manufacturing.  I read the recipe and drank more coffee.  Annmarie came down and I happened to mention the meep sound.  She promptly put on some boots abnd winter clothes and went outside to the barn.  I drank some more coffee and ate waffles. I did tell the girls that after breakfast we were going to have to go outside and check on the lambs.  Plus, we had food to unload from the car, eggs to collect, chickens to feed and we just purchased some diatomaceous earth (ground up petrified freshwater shellfish) for the animals and needed to get a mixing container set up in the barn. 
Annmarie came back to the house hollering for me to come immediately as she could not get the ewe into a jug with the new twins that had been born.  That meeping sound I had heard was from the first twin falling under the outer barn door and into the old sheep area.  Momma could not get to her and she had crawled behind the straw to stay warm.  Annmarie and I chased momma into the jug with the twins and we watched them for a little bit to see if the first baby would get rejected.  It all looked good so we went back inside to clean up the house (recent tornado inside our house and the after effects are still present). 

We sent Sarah out at 1300 to check on the babies.  She came back and told me that the fallen baby was getting rejected.  We made up a bottle of lamb milk replacer and went out to the barn.  The baby in question was up walking around and would suck on Sarah's finger but not the bottle.  The ewe backed up into the corner of the jug and the fallen baby went over, latched on and proceeded to drink a large amount of milk.  All is wonderful with the world!  When we backed away from the jug, the ewe started turning in circles and pushing the fallen baby away from her, no bond.  We grabbed the baby and brought it into the house.  It was cold so it stayed curled up in a ball in a towel on someone's lap.  Zeke came over and licked the baby all clean.  He was incredibly gentle, which surprised us.  He did great.  We called Tisha to come get the little bummer girl.  She came a couple hours later and took her home with her.  We don't do bummers, too much work and a negative payout.  We just give them away.  

After we got home late that evening I went out to feed everyone and lock them up for the night.  Our lead ewe #1, had just had a set of twins!  They are all white with a faded brown neck collar.  Both of them were right next to her and covered in yellow fluid (amniotic).  I just grabbed the babies and put them in a jug.  They meeped and she came right over and walked right into the jug!  If only everyone was that easy.  The single baby left over from the morning birth was doing well.  I watered and fed everyone.  We had mixed the grain with molasses and the diatomaceous earth together and will be feeding the sheep and horses this to get rid of worms.  It works by mechanical action on the worms in the guts of animals.  We thought we would give it a shot. 

I am going to have to ear tag everyone on Monday.  Too many babies to keep track of a pen full of them and their mothers.  I am going to wait a few weeks before I band the boys (castrate).  It is easier when they are a little older, but not too old!