Thursday, January 30, 2014

Seventy-Five Lambs and Counting

I arrived at the barn the other day just after this ewe lambed. It never gets old watching a lamb come into the world. It is amazing how most of the mothers just know what to do. They lick them clean to dry the lamb off. This cleaning is part of the bonding process. Within ten to fifteen minutes the little lamb is usually trying out their spindly legs. Slowly they will rise up part way, then fall down, then try again. As they are feeling their legs, they slowly inch their way to the back end of the ewe. Somehow they know which way to go - toward the ewe's udder which is full of colostrum. 

The lamb is usually sucking away within an hour or so. If the ewe is going to have twins, she will stop licking and cleaning the first lamb to concentrate on pushing the next lamb out. The second one usually comes much faster than the first. 

This ewe had a nice big single - but not too big to cause birthing problems. When I arrived, the lamb was up on its legs. The bag that is coming out of the back of the ewe is part of the birthing process. It comes out after the birthing is done. I do not know what it is called. Perhaps a sheep person out there can leave the proper name in the comments.

 

The following are some sweet photos of the ewe and the lamb bonding. You can see that there is another ewe paying attention to the lamb. That ewe was close to lambing - they frequently try to steal a new lamb from another mother.



 
 


The ewe will lick the underside of the lamb's tail. That stimulates the lamb to nurse. When we are caring for bottle lambs, we frequently tickle under the lambs tail to stimulate the lamb's sucking reflex - just like the mother does with her baby. 


Here the lamb is having it's first drink. Successful bonding and drinking! That is what a farmer wants. 

 

Hope you all are staying warm and having a nice week.

9 comments:

Kam said...

That is amazing! Thank you so very much for taking the time to share this experience with us. You have a lot of new babies! Too cute!

cockney blonde said...

I love reading about your new babies. Thank you so much for sharing your news. They are delightful, x

Anonymous said...

thanks this is what i love about your blog........

Fracksmom

amyroz said...

I believe the bag is the placenta or as my farmer/dad called it, "afterbirth". Great photo essay. Thanks.

Emily said...

Your posts always bring a smile to my face, especially when it is about the sheep and lambs. Thank you!

linda bowton said...

I love your 'lambing' posts also! They are so precious! God's chosen animal! Blessings...

Marlaine said...

Such beautiful photos! Thank you so much for taking the time to share them with everyone.

Lizy Tish said...

Love these posts. So interesting to see the process and just so sweet to see the new lambs with their moms.

Karen at Struan Farm said...

We call the bag the afterbirth here in New Zealand.