Enya had her little guy outside, as they all did except the man bred sheep, the Blue Faced Leicester, who had her lamb in the shelter. At least the shelter is quite clean with good straw down and it is out of the wind and dry. It was 5 degrees today, but the wind was very cold. I hate to see the little lambs shiver, so I towel them as dry as I can to give the moms some help, especially if there is more than one. Enya is a primitive sheep, a Jacob, and she has a crossbred lamb, Shetland sired through the fence of all things. The ram she was with missed the mark I guess. Gwen, the BFL is not a good mother and leaves her little girl alone. The baby cries and finally lays down, but Gwen does not come back for a long time and if I bring the lamb to her she ignores her and continues eating. If she does not smarten up, tomorrow I will lock her up in a stall in the barn with the lamb. I love the wool of the BFL sheep, but they simply do not compare with the primitives and need lots of interventions to be healthy and thrive. They would do well in a warmer winter climate too.
Lyssa Cotswold had her single lamb, a large boy, outside the shelter.She had a bit of a time with him, making all kinds of noise and demonstrating her discomfort. The lamb was presenting correctly with the head between two little hooves, so I left her and went to finish the chores. When I returned she was still moaning and groaning and the lamb's front hooves and nose were out, but the head was not wanting to cooperate. I gently grasped the feet and pulled very lightly down and the head passed and the lamb slipped out. I am pretty sure Lyssa could have done that on her own, though just a little assistance was welcome. She was licking the air like crazy, but not the lamb, so I toweled him off as much as I could. I watched to see if he could latch on to a teat and drink, but he was a little confused as to where it was, so I laid Lyssa down and clipped the fleece from around her butt and udder so he had a clear path and bingo! He was nursing on his own.
Obe had her boys cleaned and they were dry by the time I was out of the house this morning, twin rams. She is an excellent mother, only her second time, but her instincts are spot on and she is attentive and is always mothering her babies. I made a final round outside at 9:30 and there were no sheep isolating themselves or showing any signs of labour, so all should be well until tomorrow. They tend not to have babies in the dark. Those farmers who have barns and leave the lights on, in my humble opinion, are encouraging night births out of synchronization with nature. I will be up early to check again in the morning.
I am grateful for these little babies born today. Lambs are sweet natured, innocent and full of life. They bring joy to my life just being around them and that is why I am a farmer! The video is Lyssa complaining about being in labour.