Sunday, April 15, 2007

The Spots Have Arrived!

I was hoping for a break from lambing. However, this morning when I arrived in the barn, Hopper was sitting in the lambing preparation spot looking uncomfortable. For some reason, most of the ewes choose this place to go into prelabor. Sure enough, Hopper was planning on lambing, it was just I matter of *when*. I let a few of the ewes and lambs out of their pens for the first time and played with a few lambs... Still no signs of getting closer for Hopper, so I decided to eat lunch. When I came back to the barn half an hour later, I could hear ominous moaning. Hopper was pushing and I could see a nose, but she was not making progress despite the horrible bellering. It's difficult to hear any of the sheep make such dreadful sounds, but Hopper is also one of my favorites, so I was feeling extra anxious. After a few minutes I decided I'd try to help and discovered NO feet, just the nose. I had another ewe who delivered this way two years ago and from that experience I had found that it was nearly futile to push the head back in as some of the lambing books recommended. So, (cringe), I was going to do what I could to... yes, pull him out by his head. While Hopper was pushing, I worked on getting his head out enough that I could pull.. With his head head out, I inched him forward while Hopper vocalized how not fun this was. The shoulders seemed a bit stuck, so I tried rotating him a little and also managed to get a foot forward. A few more light pulls and he was out! Hopper didn't realize what had happened at first, but as she sat down I place her newborn next to her, and she immediately began licking him. A few short minutes later, the pushing and moaning ensued. This lamb at least had one foot forward, so he was no problem to help deliver. I placed him next to his brother and their mom nuzzled and licked them both (while I pulled out my camera to sneak in some shots of the new family). These twin rams are moorit yuglet sokkets by SheltrgPines Jerome. Photo to the side is Hopper, on Saturday, before lambing. She's been huge for the past few weeks.

The count is now 4 boys and 8 girls!

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