Sunday, February 17, 2013

First time moms...

Yesterday, I got to the farm earlier than normal, and when I got there, mom and baby were happily together in their jug.  The lamb was perky and looked good.  It was all good, until... I started to feed.  Mother then busted open the two doors of the jug and through the gate to the large room part of the barn.  Several times I had to put her back in and devise new ways to keep her there.  She just did not want to be away from the flock.  So, then, I fashioned some hooks with nails to keep her in and was working outside when I heard BAM!  and out she came running.  Okay, so you want to be with the rest, that is okay...

But, it was not okay.  The lamb was a target by last year's lambs and the ram lamb absolutely wanted to kill him, I saw it.  So, I got Dan and we separated out the ewe who lost her lamb, and the lambs from last year including the ram lamb, and they were put in the outer paddock.  There was just no way that brand new lamb was up to that beating.

Everything calmed down a lot and only moms to be, and new mom were in small paddock with access to barn.  I left, and I wondered if I needed to get everyone in, because it was going to be cold.  Did not know if mother was smart enough to bring baby in.  I went home and cooked the absolute best steak meal I have ever made, and actually... eaten... and then decided to drive back and get the ewes/baby in.  I could not just bring mother in, as she would hurt herself to be with the rest of the girls... So, I drove back and took one of the panels off the jugs I had fashioned, and made some nail hooks and hung the gate on the inside of the doorway to outside.  Then, I grabbed another bale of hay, and a tiny bit of grain and got everyone on.  At first the lamb wanted outside, he could not understand the gate thing... Then, he finally accepted it.  His mother set to eating hay, like she had not eaten all day.  She was just too nervous.  I knew that lots of nerves is counter to producing milk and boy was she nervous- about being away from the flock.. So, my plan to lock everyone in worked.  Mother was eating like a house a fire and baby was safe.  Given the wind last night I am very glad I locked everyone in.  Tonight it will be even colder; sub 0 temps with wind chill.  Ask me if I will ever lamb this early again?  NO WAY!!!!!!!!!!!  This is a really nervous time.

Today I have to clean out the barn, reorganize things and re-configure what I think will be the jugs.. Just not sure, but if I have more mothers like the aforementioned one, I need contingency plans.  No big breakfast today, just toast.  Too much on my mind, and on the agenda.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

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