When I arrived at the barn yesterday, I found this new born with two mamas. I hung around watching – trying to see which mama would feed the baby. I thought the mother was the white ewe – her udder seemed larger than the brown and white ewe. After about 30 minutes, I saw the lamb nurse from the white ewe. But the brown and white ewe persisted in trying to care for the lamb.
This morning, this brown and white ewe had a set of twins – one white and one black. We figured she was close to lambing. Many pregnant ewes will exhibit this type of pre-maternal behavior when they are close to giving birth. It’s convenient for us – because we know who to keep tabs on.
Lots of sheep will give signs that they are close to birth. They will start to lie down apart from the rest of the sheep. Usually, within a day, they have a lamb to take care of.
It’s amazing how independent lambs become quickly. In their first couple days of life, they are always beside their mama. As a week goes by, they start cavorting and snoozing with the other lambs.