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.
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.