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Archive for April, 2008

When I got up Saturday morning, I immediately went to: 1. Turn the coffee pot “on”…and b. Checked the monitor in the office running “Sheep-O-Vision”. Loretta had been acting suspicious on Friday and I had wondered if she had progressed along. Well, at first I thought it was something wrong with the camera in that part of the barn, but I saw what appeared to be the beginning of something working its way out of Loretta’s posterior. To the tune of “There’s mucous! (Only another shepherd or person living with one would understand the excitement those words bring to a shepherd’s heart) She’s in labor!” I ran back to the bedroom to get dressed. I barely had time to tell my DH I was headed to the barn when I heard, “Don’t forget your phone.” from my beloved spouse.
Loretta’s labor progressed very fast, even for a first-timer. I checked on her then went about my business feeding the other sheep and making sure the others weren’t around to bother the expectant mom. After feeding, I went back in and spied two big feet where feet aren’t usually found on a sheep…but no membrane! No fluids! Oi!
Loretta was up and down. She was in the throes of deep, painful contractions without making any headway in getting this “pod-being” out of her body. By that time I noticed a nose and mouth with a big tongue hanging out of it. The tongue was pink, but if things didn’t progress along it wouldn’t be pink for long.
By that time my Dh had arrived to help anyway he could. I donned gloves. Enough time had passed and Loretta was getting weaker with each contraction. The nose was even starting to move back inside! I had forgotten how slippery these little guys can be, so I asked Hishonor to hand me a towel so I could get a good purchase on the front legs. With the next contraction, I pulled while Loretta pushed and out he came! Yes, damn it! Another HE!!!!

Above is a picture of the unnamed ram lamb Loretta presented to us. (I repeat…”Damn it!”) He had a bit of a problem finding the right spigots on Mama, the problem being that he had such tall legs. Soon he had his first meal and Loeretta continued cleaning him up.

He has the Skittles Stamp, a krunet marking, on the top of his head. And Loretta is a fierce protector of him. Her sister came close to inspect this new wind-up toy that her big sister had and Loretta tried to bash away all relations in protection of her new son.
We are almost finished lambing here for this year. But I may have to start thinking of another ram. Since we’ve had my friend, Skittles, out of ten lambs so far, only one was a ewe lamb. The rest have been carbon copies of their sire. It’s like Skittles has created his own army of Mini-Me’s running around. My talks with him have fallen on deaf ears. He’s out to create an army of rams under his control. So far, it seems to be working.

Darn it, Skit! I hope you remembered where you put your suitcase as you may be leaving…or at the very least you may have a roommate – with horns as impressive as yours! Got the word now?

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We’re not through with lambing here at Oleo Acres, aka Sheep Thrills Farm. We have Ailee and Loretta to go. Both are first-timers never having had lambs before and both are taking their sweet time about getting on with things! What is it Lucy from Peanuts says? “Argh!”
I knew that they were not cycling with their mothers when they went in with the ram, but I didn’t think they would be this far behind. It appears Loretta will lamb first as her udder is really filling in and the lamb(s) are starting to drop. I expect she’ll lamb in a couple of days. Ailee, on the other hand, is trying to maintain her girlish figure or holding everything in when I’m looking. Her udder is developing, but not as far along as Loretta’s.
So, to entertain you between the periods of mass hysteria that lambing is, we offer you the following photos. Enjoy!

“Are you my father?”

“OK…which one of you knuckleheads woke me from my nap? And who’s been touching MY tire?”

“London Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down… Hey! Didn’t the Big Thing with Two Legs say London Bridge is in Lake Havasu City? Where’s that?”

Sheep Thrills Jerry Lee

Sheep Thrills Elvis

OK, Boys! Heads up, straighten those legs, and get those horns growing in correctly! No slackers in this outfit! Everyone better make the cut this year…you need to go find your own herds. We’re full-up here. 🙂 And tell those Aunts of yours I want ewes only for the remainder of this breeding season! (From their lips to God’s ears…please!)

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A Wee Stretch of the Legs

This afternoon, wind or not, I decided that the two ewes who have lambed had the look I get when I’ve not been to town for a couple of weeks. You know the one. The look that says “If I don’t go outta here, I’m going to go crazy just talking to kids!” We have had more winds this spring than I care to think about. Springs here used to be such a nice season. Not any more. They have fallen to the bottom of my list in my favorite season ratings. At least with winter you know you’ll have cold, bitterness, winds, chills. This spring has just teased us enough to give us a promise of nice days, then slapped our faces with both sustained winds and terrible gusts (50 mph).
But the moms needed to get out and stretch their legs…if only for an hour.

Above you see our resident lamb-sexer checking twice to make sure a ewe didn’t slip past in the excitement of freshly birthed lambs. Nope. He’s still a boy, darn it.

Now, I say that with reservation. The Husband-and-Supporter of The Shepherd was just delighted to see this little spot-headed lamb. He uttered those dreaded words, “He’s a keeper!” quickly as if they lingered a bit too long in the air they would be shot down by The Shepherd. I just stared back in reply, mumbling “We’ll see.” in as glum a manner as I could without totally crushing his exuberance at seeing this lamb with the painted head

Above is Lacey with her new little family. She is such a good mother. At first I had both the girls with all their lambs out together. Soon, I noticed that Amanda (below) had taken her boys to explore their Dad’s pen. She introduced them to the Tire-Toy, specifically mentioning not to touch it.

All in all, a good time was had by all. All, that is, except The Shepherd who by this time had a whopping migraine headache and was looking forward to 6 ibuprofen and a Coke. No one complained at going back into the barn, away from the wind and the dropping temperatures that hit us in late afternoon. Tonight we’re supposed to get to 17 F, with more wind. I made sure the shutters were closed on the barn and a board placed across the moor to block an icy winds from chilling anyone.
It was then I noticed that the wethers and Skittles were standing at the fenceline watching the little ones cavort around. As I looked around I saw that the two first-time-expecting ewes had lined their fence trying to get close to these little bundles of energy. You could see a look of amazement on their faces. Soon, they too will have bundles of energy of their own.

On your toes, boys and girls…new arrivals mean serious decisions need to be made as to who stays…and who has to have a new home!

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Blogger Problems

I haven’t forgotten anyone. I have been having problems getting Blogger to upload pictures today. Hopefully, I will have them up by tomorrow in a new entry. Hang in there and keep your fingers crossed! 🙂

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At about 1430 hrs. this afternoon, Lacey finally began her delivery in earnest, delivering two lambs. This morning she was very restless and wouldn’t eat much. I spent most of the day near the monitor in the office. Lacey usually lambs quickly but this time she kept dragging her feet. It appears that both are ram lambs. Yes…it is VERY apparent that the talk I had with Skittles went in one ear and out the other. I will double check myself later just to make sure I did get the sexing correct. I was trying to dip navels, check sex, and was getting licked by Mum all the while. It was clear I was interfering. I stepped back and let this wonderful mother take over and do her job. She’s in heaven. She has two babies again.

Above is mother Lacey cleaning off one of the lambs. I usually hesitate to interfere with the bonding activities of a ewe and her lambs, but today the wind was picking up, coming into the barn and trying to chill the damp lambs. I managed to find a few clean towels in amongst the lambing supplies so helped Lacey dry off her offspring. Below you can see that the older sibling has a spotted face! WoHoo! Spots! Markings! Anything but solid black or brown!

And here’s the culprit himself…er, sire, I mean. He looks rather pleased with himself, doesn’t he? (Shaking head) Must be a guy-thing.

Well, Skit! We’re halfway though lambing. You’d better darned well have a ewe lamb up your sleeve somewhere, Bubba! So there! Remember…we are all replaceable! (Shh…don’t tell him I really don’t mean that. I just want him to think about it for a while)

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No News…

Miss Lacey is playing games today! She did not eat much this morning and has been “nesting” in her jug, coming in from outside on her own. She’s restless and trying to dig to China. So far, there have been no other progressive signs of impending birth – except I know we’re headed that direction. (I won’t go into graphic detail here at this point.)

What I really think is that she loves toying with me….come on Lacey! Get with it!

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Thar She Blows!

We’re off and running! Amanda presented us with two strapping ram lambs this morning! Boys (darn it) and Mom are doing well. Apparently that discussion I had with Skittles did not sink in. That’ll teach me to have a serious conversation with a ram right before being turned in with the ewes.

Now we’ll keep closer eyes on everyone else. I really expected Amanda to have tripoets this year. Who can tell? I have to make a trip to the feed store so I’ll leave my DH to watch the monitor. He just finished putting a new connection in as we’ve lost the camera in the other side of the barn. At least we have a camera where it’s critical.

As for me…I think a cup of hot tea is in order. 🙂

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