Thursday was quiet, day three. Lots of bottle feeding and catch up; nothing new lets us pay close attention to the new mom's and lets us assess who we think is next so we can keep an eye on them. A couple of our Clun Forest ewes look to be bagging up pretty significantly. The drop and push can not be far behind.
The two little ones out of Freckles are doing well. They will nudge and nestle anything in sight at this point in hopes of a drink. Be careful as they will be at your feet constantly and can easily be stepped on... they get 4-5 ounces about 5 times a day at the moment. This will gradually increase in size and decrease in number as they age... long way to go at the moment... let's stop talking about that.
Fridays we are generally pretty busy with the farmers market and our homeschool 'field trip day". After chores I took Joepye to the Maine Warrior gym which is and indoor obstacle course, fun stuff for a field trip. That left Laura to get ready for market with her mom Beverly's help, and oversee the farm until about 1. In classic lambing season fashion as soon as Laura was on her own two of those Cluns I mentioned earlier decided the time was right. When sheep go into labor it does not necessarily mean anyone needs to stay in the barn or do anything... its just that there is a process that needs to be complete and run its course before whoever is on duty can really focus on anything else with intention. You eat, you tidy up, you do other chores, maybe lay down for a bit... but you are not embarking on anything else of substance until those ewes are in the jugs and you know that all is well.
Once the lambs are safely out, usually needing none of your help, you get them weighed, tagged, and jugged up with mom for a minimum of 24 hours.. usually 36 or 48. So that means the chords get dipped, the moms get food and water, and everything is recorded. If you have one sheep at a time going you can pretty much attend to those things as you go about your day. If there are a couple it gets a bit more difficult and its good to have two of us moving stuff around and getting everything settled. So Laura had all of that going for her plus they decided to birth right next to each other... so in no time there were four lambs and two moms screaming back and forth making certain they had their new babies and not those belonging to the other sheep.
This is funny and cute for a while but then you have to jug them and if everyone is all tangled up you are needing to figure out which two of the four identical looking lambs should go together to the jug for the first ewe. To this day the most intense example of this came on a day when we had 4 sheep deliver twins in the course of two hours one spring. I was the home alone victem that day...
But Friday was Laura's turn... mass chaos trying to jug the new moms by leading them to the other end of the barn using their lambs as the lure. In the end all was sorted out as it always is... well done Laura. Four new lambs today on day 4.