Winter in Maryland is dreary and today was wickedly windy. I let the sheep and goats out about 10. The goats turned around and went right back in. The sheep hung out on the hill in front of the house. WhentThe wind became gusty around 4, even the sheep decided that it was a bit much. They decided they had had it and went back into the barn. All it took was the oldest ornery sheep to move in that direction and the rest followed.
This lamb was born the other night. I thought he was dead when I picked him up, but he gave a gasp, so I spent the next two hours blow drying him and rubbing colostrum on the roof of his mouth till he was finally able to stand. I carried him into the house for the night after I was sure that he had bonded to his mother. He was raring to go the next morning, so he did not have to become a bottle baby. He was cold today, so I put a coat on him for a while. He got so tangled in it that I finally took it off. All of the onsies I have are too big for him, so I will have to visit a Goodwill store soon. I have named him Leggs for a type of Anchor.
This mom was so busy messing with the other moms, that she got wrapped up in the sheets that I use to give the moms some privacy. She had her own baby an hour later, so she is now leaving the sheets alone.
I thought I would share how I find some of the babies sleeping. There are two kid bucks sleeping with their heads in this bucket.
The doe and buck kid, in the pen next to the ones in the bucket, are under a heat lamp and using each other to stay warm.
This little buck is really cute. He was my first chocolate one born this year. His sister is taupe, but they are both called "red."
This is Hollow. Her mother had her in the upper garage. We had just checked the mother for udders two days prior and she did not have any, so she stayed with the other does that were not imminent. Marc went to feed the garage crew, while I was feeding the barn crew that had already delivered. He found the mom having the baby and came to tell me. By the time we got there, the first time mom had already had the baby and walked away. Fortunately, Hollow is a howler because she let us know where she was and we brought her over to the barn. I was afraid that she would be a bottle baby, but we put the mother on the stand and I got her to nurse. This was after I sheared enough hair off so we could even find the teats. The mother is now super protective and they are both down in the lower part of the barn in the playroom.
More sleeping babies. Siblings are still sleeping together in the playroom. The single kids are being guarded by their mothers in the playroom, except for dinner time. That is when the kids run all over the room hopping and skipping. I use that time to check for babies that are hanging back. There is usually an issue, when they are not playing.
These are a few of the Merino lambs. They have been moved to the lower garage now, so they can run out on pasture during the day. They have all had their onsies removed, tails docked, immunizations given and ears tagged. They are loving the freedom to run, but there is a lot of fussing when they get hungry and realize that their mothers are not standing there next to them waiting.
And now Marc is doing the final check for babies for the night. We have to go down every hour and a half to check. The goats are pretty good about vocalizing, so we know to watch for their babies. The sheep are another story entirely. They instantly freeze when we come in and pretend that nothing is happening. That is how I know who to watch, Those not in labor are looking for food, so they are moving around and instantly up on their feet. I have become wise to their tricks!
No call from Marc, so they must all be waiting till morning. Rarely are any babies born during the middle of the night. It usually means the mom is having problems.
This is a good time to wish you all good night. First morning check comes pretty early!