Monday, March 07, 2011
Audrey gives us life
I arrived at the barn this morning and heard the usual suspects, all saying the same thing, "You're kind of late, where's breakfast."
But there was one new voice, and even after 7 lambing seasons, I go into a mini First Lamb of the Season befuddlement. Even though I was already with lambing pens and all was well, the little distinctive bleat of a new lamb makes my heart flip flop.
Entering the pen to see who lambed - I knew it had to be Audrey - is always an exciting but anxious moment, especially after The Spring of Death in '09. If you're tired of that reference, get used to it, it's part of my skin now and will most likely pop up each spring. Lambing is fun, but just as much can go wrong, as right. So you hope for the right, and prepare for the worst.
A boy, a girl, alive, breathing, probably an hour old. The boy was slightly chilled, but nothing major. Gave them both lamb drench and he jumped up. Fortunately, it's a sunny day, no wind, and I have them in a lamb jug in the orchard by the other mama-to-be ewes. I wrapped him in a warm sweater for now. It's warmer there than in the stall. They still don't have the hang of the nipple, but I milked colostrum and gave them some. Will watch every two hours to make sure they are eating something. I fret a bit about the boy. His mouth is warm now, a good sign.
And as I sat watching the newborns, Daisy went down, and her breathing increased. Thing she might lamb today. Will watch and get her moved inside if needed. I like to keep my ewes in the sun and up and about until the day they lamb - if I can. I had one new mom arrive at the barn once with her baby sticking out. All went fine, but it was early in my shepherd life, and I learned a lesson. I guess the lesson is - they can fool you sometime.