Tuesday, June 07, 2011
As if the HEAT wasn't enough...
Wouldn't you know it?
Record high temperatures and the humidity so high it's stifling. My last year of lambing in the Bluff Country. I shouldn't complain. I've had a pretty good run of it. Never had a ewe reject a lamb.
Kiss is a one year old ~ first time Mom who lambed sometime during the night or early morning on Sunday night/Monday morning. I almost didn't even notice because I've quit even checking the girls since most of them are done lambing and the babies are half grown!
I was out working on some fencing, late yesterday morning when I heard a very soft "mewing?" sound. Upon closer inspection, I found it was a new born lamb (cleaned off and had nursed, judging by the round belly) in the RAM barn with the big boys! I don't know how he (moorit/smirslet) got into the ram pen. The only thing that I could figure was that he managed to sneak under the fence. He is EXTREMELY tiny. The smallest lamb ever born in the Bluff Country.
To whom did he belong???
Princess had looked like she could lamb any day. Her baby/s have obviously 'dropped'. Kiss wasn't far behind and Chance & Dream are taking their good old time with their precious bundles.
Princess & Chance were up by the big barn. I tried introducing them both to the little guy. No interest and both were quite clean & tidy on the back end. So, up into the big pasture I trudged. Carrying this adorable, teeny-tiny, itty-bitty lamb. A bunch of the girls were gathered around the big tree. When I got close, I saw Kiss with a flashy, black & white, HST lamb. Could she have had TWINS? Apparently so.
Unfortunately, Kiss had all but forgotten about "Half-Pint" and was quite content to mother his big brother: "On the Rocks" (Rocky). I finally had to carry Rocky back to the barn/jug to get Kiss in there. Did I mention that it's almost 100 degrees with dripping humidity?
Once safely in the jug, I reintroduced Half-Pint to his Mother and his Brother. Let's just say that Kiss was less than impressed.
While she chortled sweet nothings and gently nuzzled Rocky ~ who is a typical sized Shetland ~
when poor little HP got close, Kiss would grunt and push him away. She wasn't particularly aggressive (at first) but wouldn't let him nurse.
The poor little guy needed to nurse so:
I tied the B*** up!
(did I mention it's mighty hot & humid?)
I should mention that I tried holding Kiss, pinned against the wall, for a few attempts, before resorting to tying her, but my arm was getting pretty beat up and I couldn't see through the sweat flowing freely into my eyes, so tying seemed like a reasonable compromise.
Half-Pint is so tiny that he can STAND, completely under Kiss (who is a fairly small ewe ~ being only a yearling) and still has to look up to nurse!
I go into the jug with the three of them, about once an hour and untie Kiss, but keep her on the halter. That way, if she shows any aggression toward Half Pint, I can 'correct' her. It seems to be working fairly well. I even brought Kiss and her boys outside for a while this afternoon. She enjoyed the grass and the boys got to stretch their legs. Kiss still has to be watched carefully to make sure she doesn't get too rough with Half Pint. She is standing better to let him nurse.
I sure hope this works itself out FAST....
God, it's Hot.