Thursday, March 5, 2015

And it all came tumbling down

No lambs yet. The ewes are all acting like nothing's going on.

Silly sheep.

Just as well, cause..

I am buried at work. The weather continues to provoke us all. The girl who usually helps with the ponies has been away for two weeks -- during the worst of the weather while the ponies are all inside. Of course. And the teenager, well, has been acting an awful lot like a teenager lately.

If something doesn't break soon, I just might. Let the lambs incubate a bit more. That's ok with me.

I snapped this photo on my phone on my way home from work yesterday. Seemed appropriate. It's the barn at the corner down the road. Seems it finally gave up the fight.


 
In better days (from Bing Maps). 




Makes me a little sad.





Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Born still

A couple of weeks ago, Clementine, the Lincoln ewe, had a bad case of the runs that I couldn't get under control, so I took her in to the vet school for help.

While we there, they did an ultrasound. I was sure she was bred.

I was wrong.

Despite living continuously with Johnny Blue, the Lincoln ram, for a good 18 months, she was definitely not pregnant. And for that matter, Emily and Devon, the two Icelandics, have lived with Johnny since last January, and neither of them have reproduced. And even though Johnny has had uninterrupted access to all the Black Welsh ewes since July, I noted over and over how many of them continued to cycle right through the fall.

All of which is to say, I'd sort of given up on Johnny Blue's chances of being a dad. And since macho man Jed, the Black Welsh herdsire, has been sequestered since shortly after doing the tango with Bo Sheep way back in August (resulting in Jack and Jill), I'd allowed myself to relax and start to believe that we were having no more lambs this season.

Dumb.

Dumb.

Dumb.

Maggie, one of the Black Welsh ewes gave birth to a little ram this afternoon. He was already gone by the time I walked in on this ridiculously cold day, though I think I didn't miss his arrival by much. He lay on the ground outside under the shed roof, where the Black Welsh ewes like to sit and watch the world. His umbilical cord and amniotic sac were still attached. It looked like Maggie had just walked away. Since she's an experienced mom, with three daughters in the flock (Jezebel, little Jethro's mom, and last year's twins, Loretta and Dolly), I'm guessing he was born still. Maggie seems to be ok -- eating, drinking, chewing her cud, and surrounded by her girls. I'll keep an eye on her for a few days all the same.

I don't know that there's anything I could have done if I'd been there, but I still feel badly.

I discovered two more ewes with prepped and primed udders -- Welsh Bo and Eve. Eve is one of the ones I thought I'd seen cycle repeatedly. Wrong again I guess.

At night check just now, Bo was hanging off in a corner by herself, so she may ready to go. Thankfully, it's not supposed to be quite as cold tonight as last.




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Steaming behemoth

The temps fell to eighteen below zero (F) last night and I did not explode or shatter into a million pieces.

Score one for me.

I did worry about the animals who had to spend the entire night outside in it though. So, when I entered the sheep barn this morning, I was a little concerned to see Jed, the daddy of Jack and Jill, lying as still as a stone in his pen.


First of all, I rarely see Jed lying down. He is always on his feet when I walk in. And secondly, he is never quiet in the mornings. He wants his food and he wants it now. Ram that he is, he usually communicates this by slamming his head into whatever hard surface is at hand. Repeatedly. I've gotten used to it so I hardly notice anymore.

But I did notice its absence.

At first I couldn't tell if the steam coming off him was from his body or his breath. Both I guess.



video

He is such a grizzly, gnarled, old behemoth.


And, um, notice the hammer I put down when I pulled out my phone is so innocently lying on top of the water. Yeah, Jed's little bucket froze clear through overnight despite my filling it with heated water at night check. There's a special place in hell for little buckets. Jed drinks so little though, that a large bucket would still freeze AND be too heavy for me to lift over the door. Sigh.

In the end, I think he was just enjoying the spot of sunlight streaming through the open window.


Marthajones, caprine troublemaker extraordinaire, who shouldn't have been anywhere near Jed's pen, was enjoying a spot of Jed.