Monday, April 11, 2011

And A Little Lamb Shall Lead Them

I know it is supposed to be child. Humour me. Dean was in Banff this weekend being a Guitar God (his quote). They got stuck behind a terrible accident where two semi's took out a bridge. And the detour had a detour. He would have been home by 5pm but instead he was home by 3:30am. So when he woke me up, I decided to go and check on the sheep. There they all were, everything the same. Except, hang on! Where is Lifa? There she was in the far corner and I knew as soon as I shone my light over there and instead of one set of eyes reflecting light there were four.... or what? She had twins! Twin white ram lambs. Little Lifa who was born less than a year ago herself. Not only did the LAMB (she is considered a lamb until she is 18 months old - so that would be this November) give birth first but she gave birth to twins which is very rare for an Icelandic ewe to do on her first lambing. Last year I was so pleased with Eirina for giving birth like her mother did - easily with no help from me when I wasn't even looking! I am even more pleased with Lifa who did the same and with twins! And they are a nice size, too! Bigger than she was.

It was still dark (dawn is just barely lighting the sky as I write this) so I was having a hard time getting her into the lambing pen where she would be safe from the other sheep and have time to get well bonded. Eventually I used the leash and carried the lambs.

I hadn't seen them eat yet and so far she didn't seem keen on the idea. They were getting cold - their mouths were only lukewarm. So I got in the pen an sat down in the straw and worked out the waxy plug from each teat. I attached the smaller lamb first (currently being called 'little brother'). First I squirted milk into his mouth and he caught on. While he slurped, I held 'big brother' inside my coat. After he had slurped himself into tiredness, I did the same for 'big brother'.

This one is little brother. You can see that he doesn't seem to have the phaeomelanin factor. And on the geeky side, they are both white so I still have no clue about the colours lurking underneath Lifa's white.

As for the hot udder theory.... well, yesterday morning I checked them all. Draga's udder is still hot but Lifa's was hot yesterday, too. So the theory worked for her. However Draga's onto 72 hours here...

Right now I smell like lamb birth. Its a great smell! I'm on my way back out to check on them again!

PS. I've done that and they are both nice and warm and resting together while mama eats hay.


Ronni said...

Lovely, lovely welcome to new spring life. Thank you for sharing your gentle wonder.

Beth-a-knee said...

aw so cute! Take lots of pictures.

Sarah-Lynn said...

Oh my goodness, they are so cute!! All white and fresh looking, and so small! I want to touch one. I guess I'll have to wait til next year.