Notes from Windward: #69
Dolly becomes a mother again
We knew the ewes were due to give birth right around now. I was still surprised.
Jon and I were feeding the birds and rabbits, and we interrupted to go
on the Morning Walk. Right before the walk I always feed the sheep and
goats, and today was no different. Glancing into the sheep pen,
though, I noticed that only three of the four ewes sauntered up
expectantly to the alfalfa troughs. Where's Dolly?
Dolly was licking her newborn with another wobbling along on its
spindly legs. She headed over to the troughs but Jon and I tried to
get her to go into a small private pen, called a "jug," in which she'll spend a few days
bonding with her lambs.
Joker, the ram lamb
Fortunately, everyone else showed up, so we were able to finally get
Dolly and her lambs into the "lambing pen". There was a lot to do. I'd
already brought Dolly her breakfast and Jon had brought her a bucket
of water, but it was beginning to snow, so we pulled a tarp over the
Dolly and Joker
I also brought over some wire to fix the fencing for the lambing pens.
Gina brought over "lamb coats" made from old sweatpants to give them
some extra warmth.
Lilly and I
Lindsay brought over some straw with which to cover the ground.
Everybody helped in some way. In the commotion, however, the black
lamb got stepped on by Dolly and wouldn't move much, so Jon held him
while Opalyn milked Dolly and fed the lamb some milk.
Jon and Opalyn feed Joker his first meal of colostrum
He felt better soon and we put him back with Dolly, so that
catastrophe was avoided.
Jon holds a well fed Joker
We check on them every few hours and make sure they nurse directly
from Dolly. Last I've seen, both Joker and Lily are doing just fine,
and they're both drinking milk from their mother and walking around.
Joker is a black male lamb, and Lily is white with freckles, similar
Lilly watches Dolly have breakfast
Dolly and the three other ewes (Pia, Pepper, and Whitey) were introduced to Chaucer the ram on October 31 of last year. That was five months ago, so Dolly's right on time!
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69