Thursday, April 9, 2009

Bum check!

I am being driven mad waiting for the remaining expectant ewes to lamb. I have been spending a lot of time looking at bums.....let me explain...this is not nearly as exciting or risque as it might sound. You can tell a lot about who's getting ready to lamb by looking at the bum. The bum is a wealth of information. I will spare you the details, you will just have to trust me on this one.

I have one ewe that should have been due yesterday, but she isn't looking like she is in too big of a hurry to be a new mom. To complicate things, this will be her first lambing and sometimes the newbies make a funny little game out of keeping me guessing. I have a couple of ewes that I am relatively sure of their due dates for next week, but they look like they are positively ready to explode at any given moment. I have one ewe that I put in the lambing jug last night because (sparing you the details again) she was having some clear signs that things would be moving along within the near future........I checked on her at 12am, 3 am, and got up again at 5:30 this morning to find her happily munching hay, alone, in the jug. I think that they are all giggling, waiting for the full moon tonight and then they will all go at once.

Moving right will have to forgive me, I am suffering from sleep deprivation.

It was finally a gorgeous day today so I decided to let the first born twins out to meet the rest of their barn mates for the first time. No matter how it's done, initial introductions are always stressful. If I turn out several groups of new moms and lambs together for the first time it is pure mayhem. It usually involves a lot of baaing, crying, and headbutting (and that's just from me), then there are babies trying to find the right set of legs to follow, mamas trying to listen for their own baby's call amongst the chaos, it is absolutely nerve-wracking. Unfortunately, it is just as bad letting just one new family out into the "general population". Everyone swarms around to see what's going on and to make known their position in the pecking order. Inevitably the lambs end up getting a sound head-butting or two from the other ewes until the novelty wears off and order is restored.

"Maybe if I stand very still she won't notice me."

....And then there is the issue of making Ande's acquaintance. Ande tends to be a bit overzealous and somewhat terrifying if you are a tiny newborn lamb.

"Please, make it stop!"

Things finally calmed down and Lovey let the group know that these were her lambs and she was going to kick some sheepie bum if anyone messed with them. Eventually the lambs got a chance to stretch their new little legs and practice a few spring loaded jumps, readying themselves for the lamb races that will take place once the rest of the contestants have arrived.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly these little guys grow and change.

"Could you do this when you were three days old?"

"I didn't think so!"

Clearly, I had better go get some sleep......hopefully I will have new arrivals to report soon.


Unknown said...

Corinne, I adore this post! I'm ready for bed but just wanted to look in on goat and lamb blogs one last time, and found you had updated yours. The babies are precious, but I especially loved the photos of Ande doing a serious job of checking out - and kissing - new lambs.

I hope you get some sleep tonight!

Nancy in Atlanta

Michelle said...

The gully in the last two photos has such a beautiful head! I'm waiting impatiently on Butter, too. I have her due (147 days since her bum looked a little mussed) on Easter, but we'll see.

ChristyACB said...

Hopefully, you'll be able to get some very nice naps in once this is all out of the way. Well, naps to the tune of a great many lambies baa'ing and playing!

Nancy K. said...

Don't you just HATE lambing?
I do.
I'm always SO glad when it's over. And I've gotten to where I don't even get up and do middle of the night barn checks ~ unless someone is clearly showing signs of active labor before I go to bed.

Getting lazy in my old age...

Tammy said...

The things we do..and the things those sheep do to us! Of course once it's all over, it's like we block out all crazy things we did (like peeking around buildings or using binoculars to see if anyone is 'progressing'.)and act like it wasn't a big deal... Whew..I'll be glad when it's over, thats for sure. Heres hoping you'll soon have more babies to enjoy.

Christine said...

Wishing you patience. I'm only waiting for chicks to hatch and it's driving me insane. I can only imagine how bonkers I'd be over lambs. lol

Philigry said...

such sweet pictures! i hope more are on the way soon!

Shula said...

LOL the first year my sheep were not sheared prior to lambing and I spent quite a few days on the milk check. I'm glad your babies got some outside time they are both adorable. I am waiting on everyone else too even though one bum check sheep should have been due days ago. No sign of imminent labor still lol. Good luck with your sleepless nights.

Gone2theDawgs said...

some beautiful lambs there!

I'm a nervous wreck when it comes time for my girls to lamb....especially when they are new to me or new to motherhood or both!

The chances are better that I was able to do that at three days old than I could now!!! :)

Claire MW said...

ARGH!! There I was, reading the beginning of your post, saying "Ah-hah!" in the sort of way that meant I was about to learn critical things about this little sheep adventure of mine. And then, THEN, you had the audacity to "spare me the details!" Nooooooo! I NEED the details. What bum signs do I look for? Is it just the pinkness thing? New sheepie minds want/need to know. Please give further information on the bum signs! Or I shall be forever in the dark....

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