Saturday, January 15, 2005

I've cheated a bit by back dating this entry. The reason is that my usual end of the day blogging time was spent checking in at the sheep barn. We have been expecting more lambs any day. Since the first part of the week was beautiful, unseasonably warm and altogether pleasant, we knew the sheep would hold off and wait for the inevitable return of bad weather. Sheep have an instinct for this sort of thing. Sure enough, the end of the week brought a cold front behind an inch of rain. Temperatures today did not get out of the thirties, and tonight will drop to 21 degrees. The damp ground is freezing iron hard and every little breeze bites. Of course, three ewes chose today to go into labor.

An hour before sunset, we spotted a ewe in the field with brand new twins, dry, but still wobbly on their feet. While we were getting her and the twins settled into a pen, a second ewe already in the barn went into labor. We put her in the last open pen and I held her head while Susan pulled out a single enormous lamb. Just before 11:00 p.m. I walked down to check up on the new arrivals, and found another ewe standing in the middle of the barn over a new lamb still wet from birth. Part of the birth sack was glued over his head and mouth and it was struggling to breath. Once cleared away, he came around quickly; breathing well and starting to move. I rigged a temporary spot between two other lambing pens, which should hold them until morning. The project for tomorrow; rearrange the barn and set up more pens!