Our yearling ewes have begun to lamb. This is abnormal as they usually are not mature enough to lamb early in February. A sheep gestates for 5 months which means these ewes were fertile in September. We usually expect yearlings to lamb in April or sometimes not until their second year.
So far, five out of six yearling ewes have been successful and taken on their mothering roles with gusto. The last one, who lambed yesterday in the front pasture of our farmhouse, left its lamb in the snow. By the time we found it, we coudn't figure out who was the mom. Our only choice was to bring him into the house as he was down and out and very cold. How do you figure out if a sheep is hypothermic? Very scientific - you stick your finger into their mouth and if it is ice cold, you know. After situating him in front of the heating grate, he slowly came to life after about 4 hours.
Last night he baaahhhed all night long. He will go down to the barns this afternoon and join the other bottle lambs. It is too bad his mama didn't know what to do but as with humans, some mothers are better than others. Some it just takes time to catch on to their mothering responsibilities. With this lamb, we didn't have time to fool around as it would be getting dark and it surely would have been a frozen lambsicle by morning.
What a way to cheer up your day! I'm sorry everyone. That is how it is with sheep farming -- take the good with the bad and move on.