Friday, April 6, 2012

sheep business

Yesterday Edmonton, which is about a six hour drive from us got 25 cm of snow dumped on them. We also had a snow warning/watch for our area. Hoping that as usual the weather folks were wrong. But unfortunately they were right this time.

earlier this week, this same spot was depressing!

We received close to a foot of this white stuff!! I am getting a wee bit tired of winter. But this is springtime in Alberta. Last year we had about the same amount of snow, but only it was May. That heavy wet snowfall did some damage to the trees.

When I went to do the evening chores yesterday at six, there was Esmeralda lambing. That is 133 days. I don't get this. Everything I have read said gestation can vary anywhere from 138 days to 159 days. I don't recall Lawerence  jumping the que. The only way I am going to know for sure, is to purchase a ram harness. Then I would know for sure what day they got bred instead of just counting forward from the date I introduce the ram in for breeding.

Granny and her ram and ewe lamb

Granny's two lambs jumping and a hopping around. These little ones were born April 3rd.

Esmeralda had a set of twins. 
That is my third set.

 The ewe lamb wasn't doing so well. She is so much smaller than her brother. When I found them in the snow, she wasn't really breathing. With a bit of rubbing and gentle shaking, I managed to get her breathing again. It also took me a bit of coaxing to get Esmeralda to come into the barn. 
 Bringing the ewe lamb in the house was a no brainer. Frank ended up bringing me the ram lamb about fifteen minutes later, and said he needs to be warmed up. 
After about an hour I took the ram lamb back to his mama, and helped him stand and to suckle. I milked a bit of colostrum from Esmeralda for the ewe lamb. I ended up keeping the ewe lamb in the house for the night. I half expected her to be dead when I awoke at 6. But she must be a fighter!
At morning chores, I tried to re-introduce her to her mama, but Esmeralda just head bunted her away. Too much time had elapsed. The tiny little ewe had been rejected.
So. I now have a bottle baby. In the house. Again.

this is Esmeralda's little ram lamb

I have chided myself for not going out sooner. Even 10-15 minutes sooner would have made a difference. 

Maddie and her dad have headed into Peace River to go to Peavey Mart for me. I have no lamb milk re-placer. Poor lamb. I have been feeding her a mixture of evaporated milk, butter, and corn syrup. Every two hours. But now have ran out of evaporated milk. Esmeralda won't let me milk her. I could get 'rough' with her, but she is one of my tamest ewes and I don't want to make her wild. So I didn't push the issue. I am fortunate she let me milk her as much as I did last night. Thankfully the ewe lamb got that colostrum. Her last couple of feedings have been a mixture of 2% milk, Frank's coffee cream, corn syrup and butter.  Which I know probably isn't the best for her. 

She finally has her sea legs

I have a sneaking suspicion that she is pre-mature. Her skin is wrinkly, and she doesn't seem to have as much wool on her as all the other lambs. Plus, around her eyes, she almost looks like an albino.

sunning herself

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  1. Lovely little lamb! I'm wishing you the best of luck. If you managed to get the colostrum, the lamb should be just fine once you get to feeding the replacer - lol and food is better than no food right? :) Whatever you got! Yikes about the snow, one reason we are waiting as long as possible to hit the road, no need to drive through in that much snow!

  2. The lamb is beautiful but, growing up on a farm, I remember the round the clock feedings etc...

    I'm wishing you the best of luck and remember, you DID save the lamb.

  3. I visited your Blog for the first time last night. And I started at the first post and worked my way up to the present.
    I learned a few things and will be back to learn more.
    If you like, check out my Blog and see what I'm doing to try and become like you!

  4. I'm sure glad we missed that storm. Almost dry in a lot of places here, which is its own kind of scary.

    Good luck with the little ewe.

  5. The little lamb is doing amazingly far. I know. I am so optimistic! She is so much stronger today. Standing on her own, and walking about more. I had to pen up with the poms. Goldie is a good sitter!

  6. Welcome Tom! I have been at the self reliant game for a few years now, and I am constantly learning new stuff. So much to learn in so little time!!