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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Last Lambs of March

Hooray!  Leslie finally had her lambs yesterday - Friday morning.  I didn't have time to post about them yesterday but I'm catching up now.  She had two beautiful lambs - a white ram lamb and a black ewe lamb.
Each lamb weighed 10.5 lbs, which is a good, solid weight compared to a couple of the earlier lambs.  I was really pleased to see them both up and around when I went into the barn yesterday.  Once again though, there was one lamb inside the pen, and another lamb outside the pen.  More levitation?  Who knows?!
I think that the lambs squeezed out that separation I showed in Thursday's post, but I am still surprised by that.  Why they would want to leave Leslie's side is beyond me - she has the biggest udder ever!  Here's the little ram lamb trying to find it...what a long tail he has!  We need to dock tails soon.
Leslie's udder has actually posed a bit of a problem.  You see, such a large udder with such large teats is a challenge for lambs with small mouths.  Not only that, but the teats are very low to the ground, so the lambs have to lower themselves onto their "knees" to be able to nurse.  Kelly didn't have to work  yesterday, so he kept an eye on them all day, and not once did he see them nursing.  He saw them nosing around her udder along the sides, and doing the classic "head butt" that lambs do to their mothers' udders, but they simply weren't finding the teats.  When I came home from work, I helped put them on the teats while he held Leslie, but even so, the lambs did not stay on for long because it was such an awkward angle.
Enter the Udderly EZ Milker!  I don't usually do "product endorsements" on this blog, but I have to say that this tool is a really useful and convenient addition to my little bag of farm tricks.  I would recommend it to anyone who may need to milk a sheep or goat on a regular basis, but who doesn't want the hefty price tag of a full milking system.  The hand-held pump just slips over the teat, the user pumps with a lever a few times, and a vacuum is created.  The milk begins to flow into an attached bottle and when the flow subsides, one just pumps another time or two.  It's incredibly easy as long as the animal will stay still, or is being held.

Once I had milked out Leslie, her udder was smaller and the teats were higher up, enabling the lambs to nurse more easily.  I hope they will get the idea now, so that even if her udder fills heavily, they know where to find the milk.  We did feed the lambs the milked out portion because it shouldn't go to waste, and they eagerly took it from a bottle.

Oooh look!  A one-headed, two-bodied lamb!  Haha!
I do believe that Leslie's ewe lamb has some silvering on her back.  Perhaps you can see it in the picture below?  Since I am still new to the blue-faced Leicester breed, I'm not sure how that will look as she gets older, but I'm hoping it will make a lovely fleece for spinning.
In other very positive news, the little tiny lamb is doing very well indeed.  She has gone from 4 lb 11 oz (Tuesday) to 6 lb 1 oz (Friday night) and instead of her tiny, tentative steps that she had for the first couple of days, she now is able to run and prance!  She's not as active as the larger house-lamb yet, but she is making great strides.  I am so pleased with her progress.

16 comments:

angelandspot said...

I've had some born that color in the past. A few ended up being white as adults and others stayed either a silver or black color so I think it just depends. Congrats on the lambs!

IsobelleGoLightly said...

Congratulations Leslie! I want to come to your house, Claire, and snuggle with you on your couch! Lovely lamb kisses! I think I'd weigh a lot more though... hee hee hee

Brenda Lelli said...

Yeah! Leslie.
Hi Claire, when you get one of the over engorged udders, and the teats are very low, it does help to kneel beside the ewe, facing the rear, place the lamb on your lap, so it cannot back up, and then fold its front knees to the ground, and with your spare hand on top of the lamb's skull keep it's head low to find the teat. It will have to learn that with it's high wheel base, and a low to the ground udder, that it will have to take up this posture to nurse. And yes, milking off some of the extra pressure, should help to raise the height of that large udder. Watch to make sure that they nurse off both sides, so that she doesn't get mastitis on an unmilked side. Some lambs are lefties, others are righties.
The silver saddle on your ewe lamb will be more apparent after a few days. Cheers.

Mom L said...

I'm so glad Leslie's babies are big and healthy, and that the 2 little "house" lambs are doing so well. I'm envious of your having the little critters on the sofa with you!!

Nancy

Melodie said...

SO glad your babies are doing so well! That is a wonderful picture of you and the house lambs!

Flartus said...

Claire, I love how you care for these lambs, and how you build plans for their future as fiber providers! I suppose you'd be crazy to go through lambing season each year, if you weren't so excited and passionate about the results--yet, you remain practical (mostly), even in the face of such irresistable cuteness. (I mean, you do eventually kick them out of your bed.)

I had no idea lambs were born with long tails that needed docking. Yay, I learned something new today!

I think you should do a "giveaway," and let one of your readers name a lamb, or let everybody vote on a name.

Guzzisue said...

they are sooo cute :-)

Lola Nova said...

So glad to hear that all the lambs are in. Sorry that you lost the one.
I am most impressed though, by the fact that you have lovely red nail polish on despite all your farm duties :)

Gail said...

Beautiful babies!

I am not familiar with sheep but they do fascinate me.

kenleighacres said...

Adorable babies and I love the natural colored girl. It will be interesting to see what the silver does.

Don said...

Very cool! I love your photos and also how you pay such good attention to your critters.

Animals with Opinions said...

oh, how adorable!good to hear and see the house lambs doing so well. of cours the human loved the black lamb best. she's very into sheep today as she should be.

frank the fabulous sheep

polly's path said...

how neat!!! More babies!!!
I want to look into getting an udderly ez milker, too. I am contemplating starting to milk China for raw milk for our kitchen maybe next week...

Mom L said...

Meant to tell you - Goats in the Garden blog has a great picture of a new goat kid laying down under Mom to reach the teat...looks like a handy way to drink! Maybe your lambs could do that.

Nancy

WeekendFarmer said...

how "kewt" are your lambs: ) We just got 3 ourselves and I can sit and watch them all day! Good idea on the milker. I must order one. Milking sheep is not easy! and yes...that is one big udder.

My Life Under the Bus said...

Good Grief this reminds me of when I was nursing my twins ! They are gorgeous !