I'm typing this blog from the beaches of Mexico that Kenny Chesney always
sings about...ok, ok, so I'm not...I'm really typing on Hon's laptop while lounging in the hammock as the sun goes down. A girl can dream. It's been a long day.
This moring while doing chores I noticed Daisy hanging back, not wanting to be with the rest of the ewes. I also noticed some back end swelling. As the morning went on she made her way to the barn stall that we use as labor and delivery. By noon she was kind of laying to her side, clearly uncomfortable. Yup...lambs a coming. Question was how long? By 2:00 I could see little feet - front feet thank goodness. Then that's how it was for a while. It got to where I was thinking I'd have to step in with some human intervention because Daisy was clearly getting very tired. I went up to the house for a few minutes, came back, and POOF there was the lamb. Poor little thing and Daisy were so tuckered out! Daisy just laid there exhausted and didn't get up to start the clean-up process and little lamb just laid there so in came the cavalry (that'd be me). I wrapped the babe in a towel and took him over to Daisy so she could help me with cleaning him up (yes, it's a him). After a few licks she decided she was going to continue with the process so I let her have at it. Problem was, she was so into cleaning him up that she wouldn't stand still long enough for him to find the nursing parts so he could eat.
I took out my handy dandy syringe of Nursemate ASAP, a fantastic colostrum product, and gave him some of that after a bit to help him along while he poked and prodded for a teat. Then I noticed he was so tuckered out he was bumping into everything and anything looking for milk, but the side of the barn and Daisy's front leg weren't going to be much help. I got Eldest out there with me and he had Josie stand still so I could lead the lamb to the goodies, but he just wasn't getting the hang of it. Later when the Kid got off the bus I had him go out with me and hold Daisy so I could again try to get the little lambie to the necessary nursing parts. Again, nada. In this case I could lead the lamb to the teats, but I couldn't make him drink. After laying flat out on that stall floor over and over trying to get the little guy to nurse I finally resorted to preparing a bottle. That did it. Mission accomplished. He tried the bottle and then decided he didn't want to go that route...and I tended to agree.
Since Daisy was so intent on continuing to clean him up, I braced her against the barn stall with my hip, put the lamb up to her teat and voila - he got the hang of it. When he finally made contact and his little tail started swishing back and forth like hummingbird wings I knew we had success! In fact, when it finally happened I think the clouds parted, the sun came out, and there was a rainbow. Ok, a little exaggeration...but the sun was shining. The little bugger is doing well, Daisy is doing well, and I've got stuff all over my clothes that I don't want to even think about at the moment. All I kept thinking as I was laying on the floor in what I kept telling myself
was only straw was, "If Mom could only see me now!," and "We're not in the suburbs of Detroit any more."
So there you have it. Daisy gave birth to a sweet little ram lamb this afternoon. We had a few bumps in the
road, but some times that happens. They are both doing well and I'll be checking in on them to make sure the baby is nursing from Daisy and not from the barn wall. In the meantime, it's time to pry myself off this hammock and change into something that's not quite so, uh, never mind...I don't even want to think about it.
Oh, the picture up there is one I took after we had successful nursing contact. It was a proud moment for this gal! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.