Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sheep and woman give a sigh of relief

Lilly had her lambs last night. She finally started labor around six p.m. and we came to the barn a few times to find her still in pre labor. This early morning we arrived to find lambs, two beauties.

The male is very large, and already eating a little grass this usually doesn't happen for a few days or more.] The girl is this wonderful strawberry blonde. Sadly, on my second trip to the barn, she had torn her eyelid on a piece of the lambing pen - I treated with saline and antibiotic and think it will heal fine. Lilly is one of our work horse sheep - always calm, and stoic. She's a big girl who throws strong lambs. I was concerned she had held out this long, as we never have lambs past 3/12...and of course my over active imagination drummed up all sorts of possibilities. I tortured myself by re-reading my sheep books about possible causes, and lay in bed last night with visions of Lilly lying in breach birth trauma...but I guess Mlle. Nature just wasn't ready to pop those two out, and they arrived very mature - with ears already standing by morning.

Normally I wait at least one day to put mom and lambs out, but it's sunny and warm, and Lilly is an old pro. It's less stressful than being separated from the flock. They develop so much faster - I find - when they can go outside.

I want to thank all the nice thoughts people held for us this season- I have to say, I feel like a boulder has been lifted off my chest. The trauma of last year really made a mark on me, and Martyn, and it showed this season. We lost the stillborn girl, and I still fret about the surviving twin's rattle, but all in all, we are pleased.

And relieved.