Friday, May 07, 2010

And then there were two!

When I went to bed last night I had one white sheep. And then I woke up to this!

As Icelandic sheep are supposed to, Eirina gave birth all by herself, with no help to a healthy, vigorous lamb. Another ewe lamb. I am sure it helps that she is just a wee little slip of a thing - weighing in around 3 - 4 lbs. (keep in mind that Eclipse was 12!)

Eirina who isn't even quite one year old herself has settled somewhat confusedly into motherhood. Zeus didn't get to help - not that he wasn't ready and willing. She had it in the corner where I feed them - far away from where Zeus could reach. All the other sheep were laying with him - giving Eirina her space. This is actually how Eirina herself was born to a ewe lamb last May 18 - in the field with no problems to her mother, Snowflake.

I went in to check her out. She was cleaned off very well and almost dry but now shivering. I brought her in and blow dried her for a bit and trimmed her umbilical chord and managed to install them in the lambing pen.

Here you can see just how wee she is.

Isn't she sweet? Its my wee Freya come back to me. We let her choose her own name - we put three names in a hat: Kelda (source or spring), Idunnr (to love again - the goddess of spring) and Lifa which means life itself. And she chose Lifa. Seems appropriate. Welcome little Lifa into the world!


Sarah-Lynn said...

oh my goodness-adroable!!! That's nice you didn't have to do anything for once.

Laura said...

sooo cute! congratulations! said...

wow so exciting and sooo CUTE. I like how you found her name. congradulations!

sheila said...

That's unusual about your dog being so good with the sheep, isn't it? I'm amazed he doesn't ever get his blood instinct with them. Why is he so gentle, do you think? It's a very intriguing story.

Andrea said...

Actually his breed (he is an Akbash X Maremma and looks like a slightly shorter Akbash) has been bred for more than 3000 years to be like that. Traditionally in the mountains of Turkey they would live with the sheep and protect them from predators. When a ewe lambs, it is best to get the blood cleaned up as soon as possible and for the lamb to be ready and up on its feet so as not to attract predators. And what is really neat is that they have been bred for it to be instinctual. They are extremely hard to train because they are very independent-minded (to make decisions about what is best for the flock without a shepherd around). So it has been amazing to watch Zeus who is just barely 2 years old. I have taught him nothing - he just knows what to do. When my first lambs were born last year - his first, too - they weren't sure who was their mother - him or Brida. If you google it, you can find an amazing story about Maremmas and near-extinct penguins. Amazing dogs!