Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Surprise, top that Santa

I just got back from California last night. I trade chores with my neighbor to the south so he has been watching the farm for the past five days. I got up late this morning (jet lagged), cooked oatmeal, and ran into Pella to get my cats from the boarder and to run a few errands before the town shuts down at noon. On the way home, I did my neighbors chores before I started mine.

Needless to say, it was around 11:00 Am before I made it to my livestock. I fed the cows as usual and then I feed the chickens and sheep. When I fed the sheep, I noticed one was acting unusual. She was not eating, she was keeping her distance and bleating. I went to take a closer look and I noticed that she looked suprisingly thin in the flank. I walked behind her and noticed that her vaginal area was leaking a fluid and her teats were full. I called my wife (still out in California) and asked her to google lambing behavior. After I got off the phone with Janice, (I was 90% sure that the ewe was lambing) my neighbor to the north came over to swap some deer jerky for some eggs. He makes some of the best jerky I have ever had. Anyway, he
grew-up with sheep and told me I was going to have a lamb today. We partitioned the ewe off from the rest of the flock and set-up a heat lamp. When we went into the house the hooves were poking out from the ewe. We came back about 20 minutes later (me with a handful of lambing supplies that I picked-up for emergency situations), the lamb was on the ground was on the ground and looking good (no need for the supplies). We waited around to make sure the lamb found the teat and got that first vital stomach full of colostrum.

I have not sexed the lamb, but here are a few pictures of the little one. On the farm it seems that this time of year has something special about it. Our first Christmas (2008) on the farm was when we got our first eggs and this Christmas Eve, our first lamb.

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