Friday, April 23, 2010

Draga's Day

You might remember that last year Draga's lamb was stillborn. One wee black ewe lamb in the middle of the night that had obviously died inside of her sometime before.

This morning I noticed that Draga's water had broken - goop coming out her back end. (in fact for the last 2 months I have spent a lot of time staring at ewe vulvas...)

I notified some friends who live close by and soon there was an audience. Draga, always a very cooperative and friendly sheep eventually walked right into the lambing pen like she knew what to do. However, she would only lay down briefly, give one push and then stand up, looking for a lamb and licking like crazy. I let her go on like that for about an hour. Then I got in there and began to feel around. Nose and feet were in the right position but she just wouldn't lay down long enough. I finally got her to and with the help of one of our friends who had worked in a vet's office we got the lamb out. A beautiful ewe lamb at just the right weight - 6 lbs and black and white spotted, too - just like Draga. With a lamb at her feet, Draga was licking even more enthusiastically but she still didn't quite get what to do. She licked my pants and my hands and my feet and the boards of the lambing pen. And occasionally the lamb. I brought Zeus in and he set right to work and showed her what to do.

Then within minutes another amniotic sac burst and her sister slid into the world with no help from me. She is black and white, too only she has the badger face like Draga. They look very similar to each other. Instead of white legs with back feet like Draga, they have black legs with little white feet. So cute! And perfectly healthy. They each found a teat before too long and without any help.

Here they are.... as yet unnamed. They are valuable as milk sheep as Draga, her mother and her grandmother have all been milked. And Renauld has excellent fleece. I hope we can find a place for them to live with people who are interested in those kinds of genes - fiber and milk. Spotting and badger face are both rare markings, too. Anyways, they are very sweet. As I type, they are already pretending to eat hay with their mother.

Lamb Number One

Lamb Number Two

Less than an hour old and already being cute!

With Mom

And here is Zeus all flaked out after all that hard work but still not far from his lambs.


Beth-a-knee said...


sheila said...

Wow. What a story! Some friends of mine have a sheep that looks like Draga. Is this a Jacob sheep?

Andrea said...

Draga is a pure bred Icelandic sheep. But you are right, Jacob sheep are spotted like that, too. In Icelandics, the spotting gene is rare but in Jacob sheep it is standard.

blissfulreflections said...

Oh my, are they ever sweet! What an exciting day for all!
You wont keep them for milk?


Andrea said...

I might indeed keep one of them. But when they are born, I always want to keep them - can't imagine parting with them. But if they end up as easy to handle as their mother, I might just do that. Their draw back is that their wool is mostly black and I already have 2 black sheep - my ram who gives the most wool and Draga is mostly black... that's a lot of black wool.

Sarahstottle said...

So cute!! I love Zeus too, what a good sheep dog!