I rushed back to the house to put on my coveralls and grab the lambing supplies. Of course, I also grabbed the camera. It didn't take long before a little hoof was visible. See right in the middle of the photo there is a little white diagonal blob? That's a hoof!
After the second hoof, there was a bit of a pause. Kelly and our barn cat, Esmeralda, looked on with interest. (she climbs up there all by herself)
There was a lot of really intense pushing going on...
We put Sloan onto the shearing stand and tied one leg to the stand. She did NOT want to be milked, so tying her leg to the stand was the only way to milk out the colostrum for the lambs. I got as much as I could, then took it inside in a bottle along with the two lambs. When lambs get cold, they end up with hypothermia which results in them losing the instinct to suck. Even after nearly an hour of using the blow dryer to warm these two up, neither of them had warm mouths (if the inside of the mouth is cold, it's a sign of hypothermia). Finally, the ram lamb stopped his violent shivering and began to open his eyes.
He took the bottle and began to suck, which was a huge success after such a long time. It was a weak response, but at least he was finally taking in some of the essential colostrum that is full of antibodies and nutrients for the newborn lambs. I had to work with the ewe lamb for another hour or so before she finally began to show signs of life, and eventually she too, took some colostrum, but not nearly as much as her brother. She was placed in a box with a blanket, in a sunny spot, to keep her warm.
So, now there are two ewe lambs in the house - one from yesterday and one from today. Yesterday's smaller ewe did not end up nursing at all, so she had to come inside. She is to the left, the new tiny one is to the right.
Keep your fingers crossed for both of them - they've had rough beginnings!