Lambing!

To say it’s been a busy past week and half around the farm is a bit of an understatement!

Our first delivery was a horrible, terrible, no-good thing.  Aubrey was absolutely huge, we figured she would have two large lambs or even triplets.  I noticed she was starting to go into labor and was chasing other ewes and chickens out of one of the hoop houses we had built.  She would lay down, push, get up, lay down, push, get up… but she wasn’t progressing.  I could tell she was tiring and was having a hard time getting up so we jugged her and checked her.  She was only dilated just a little bit, so we let her keep working.  We checked her again in about a half hour and found she was pretty much fully dilated but her membranes where still intact.  So my husband decided to the dead and break her waters and oh my… There was soooo much fluid, we could visibly watch her shrink and were afraid we would get washed away in the flood.  I have never seen so much fluid out of a sheep.

We checked the ewe to see how the lambs were presented but could only feel the tip of a hoof way in deep, so we let her work a bit more.   When we checked her again, things had not changed and had to really work at getting the lamb out.  At times we thought we had parts to two different lambs… After working hard for two hours we were finally able to get the little guy out.  Unfortunately he didn’t make it, and after checking her again we found that was the only one.  😦

After some research we found out the ewe developed Hydrops, which means there was most likely something wrong with the lamb that made the ewe produce so much amniotic fluid. And since the ewe’s uterus was so stretched out from the amniotic fluid her contractions were ineffective. Almost always the lamb dies and the majority of the time the ewe dies as well.  It has been reported in cows to actually split the pelvic bone from so much pressure.  Others report that mamas die from malnourishment, once again caused from so much pressure of the amniotic fluid squishing the stomachs and the ewe not able to eat enough.  So we felt fortunate enough that ewe lived, generally this won’t happen again and she will hopefully go on to have normal sheepy pregnancy next time.

Oiy, after that ordeal, I was a bit hesitant for the next ewes to lamb but so far just about every delivery has been about perfect!  We have had a couple of deliveries with only one hoof and a head and have had to fish out the other leg.  Lambs have been vigorous and up within minutes of delivery looking for food.  We’ve had a couple of first-timers that weren’t too sure about this whole mama thing, but with a little time and a little help have turned out to be great mothers.

This picture was of one of our first deliveries that a few of the kids had gathered to watch…IMG_4076IMG_4034 IMG_4036 IMG_4042

A very handsome black grey spotted ram lamb…IMG_4048 IMG_4053 IMG_4060

A little watcher…

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A handsome moorit (brown) mouflon ram lamb…IMG_4077 IMG_4086 IMG_4090 IMG_4098

A sweet little  white patterned ewe…IMG_4102

A beautiful black mouflon ewe lamb…IMG_4107

Ella and her two ewe lambs… IMG_4115 IMG_4124

Lots more lamb pictures to come!

Bleary-eyed but here…

The perk benefit of staying up all night with ewes in labor?  Enjoying a gorgeous Montana sunrise…

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Victoria with her new ewe lamb, Gypsy.

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Lots of watching, waiting and coffee…

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Gypsy

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Black sheep of the family.

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Carly’s lamb pile-up!

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Garrett getting a little snuggle…

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Another pile-up!

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Going strong!

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Momma, I found this comfy, warm bed just for me!

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Going for a ride and getting weighed in the bag.

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Jug crawler…

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Never off duty…

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Wait for me mommy…

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Beautiful badgerfaced ewe lamb.

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Lamb kisses.

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Handsome Gotland/Icelandic cross.

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Stare down.

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Hide out.

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Is she gone?

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Lamb love!

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Gia and her momma.

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Pregnant…

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Freckles

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Run, jump and play!

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Sunning himself.

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Love his smile!

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Tiny set of twins.

 

 

 

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Flashy boys.

 

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Lots of stormy skies lately…

 

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Summer Sheep…

The sheep have been doing marvelous this summer despite the hotter than usual temperatures that have been here this summer.  In their home land, Icelandic sheep typically deal with a summer time average temperature of 78 degrees, we have been having mid 90’s.  I’m thankful that we don’t have a lot of humidity too!  We have been supplementing lots of extra B vitamins in their water tanks everyday along with extra cobalt, selenium and copper.  (Don’t worry, Icelandics need a lot more copper than most traditional sheep to stay healthy.)

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Lambs have been growing quick and have a wonderful fleece on them already!

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Pulling a lamb…

 

Hayden has become quite the helper around here this lambing season.  He loves all aspects of lambing, even when things are going quite right.  He has witnessed two cesarean sections that were performed on ewes this year.  He has stayed up several times to the wee hours of the morning, assisting in lambing.  He fights with his older siblings over who gets to help pull the lambs.

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Here, Fiona, was having just a bit of difficulty getting this big ram lamb out.  Tori is showing Hayden what to do.   I like letting the kids help when it is not a crisis.  Then hopefully when there is a one, we can handle it better…IMG_3727

 

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One leg out and untangled…IMG_3732

Working on the other slippery one…IMG_3734

Pulling…IMG_3738

Both legs out and we can see the face and if you look close, horn buds through the perineal area…IMG_3739

Free!
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Mama getting him all cleaned up…
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Together with his sister.IMG_3752

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Shepherding…

We still have about 17 ewes to lamb, give or take a few depending on how many of the yearling ewes caught last fall.  This lambing season has just zoomed on by and we’re about done!

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Precious little ewe lamb, she weighed just 2.5 lbs when she was born.

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Handsome ram lambs, out of Louise.

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Do I know how she feels!? Tired, yep; sore, yep; walked on, welllll… 😉

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Handsome Reykur, lambs will be coming from his pairing soon.

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Protector of the flock

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Buddies

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Beautiful boy ❤

And the chicks are even growing and in their big chicken feathers now.

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A smitten little girl!

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Magnificent Sunset…

It has been a wet,stormy day filled with rain and thunderstorms but this evening we were blessed with…

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Beauty after the storm…. IMG_2824

And reflections off the mud puddles…IMG_2829

It one of my most favored things about spring, IMG_2831

Storms mixed with a bit sun which makes the grass and plants turn a vivid green…IMG_2833

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SOOC

Happiness!IMG_2837 IMG_2841 IMG_2847 IMG_2857

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