Hairy, twins. Pigpig, single. Midget, single. Shetland ewe, single (tiny twins??). Black cross ewe, twins. Two older white cross ewes, twins. Two younger white cross ewes, singles.
Think pink you guys!
Today I cleaned out the stalls.. I know, last minute but there is only three of them and I have 9 ewes. And right in front of them is all the square bales. I am hoping tomorrow to move the bales around and make some room. I would really like to make enough room to bring over the panels and be able to have all the ewes in that barn once they lamb. They wouldn't have pasture access for that time but since everything is a muddy mess that is really what they need. It would also give me a nice little area to keep an eye on them all and not off on a wild chase with the wily ones. I want to work with the lambs plenty so that the replacements will all be plenty tame to work with going forward.
Also it would give the paddock time to not be trampled and hopefully dry out! And the ewes will be easily accessible to be grabbed and shorn. Which hopefully will be enough room for me to do the shearing in there too... Ugh I hope...
Well I called off work today. Went up to feed this morning and Hairy was way out the side of the paddock and was holding her back legs oddly the way she stood. She totally ignored me and the rest of the ewes walking toward the shelter for feed. I figured she either has a stuck lamb or prolapsed.
Sure enough she prolapsed. I had checked about 11:30 last night so happened sometime between then and about 10am. She was having none of me trying to get close to check her out. I had closed up the other ewes in the shelter so as not to rile everyone up trying to get Hairy. I ended up having dad come up and help me catch her. Finally got her with a cattle panel weir fishing trap sort of deal in front of the shelter. I thought my legs were going to give out from all the walking and jogging across and up and down the hill.
Got the halter on her and started the long walk (drag) over to the barn with the stalls. She was not very cooperative. Finally got her in the stall. Run around gathering up twine. Rig up a harness. Well I couldn't get her rigged up so I made up something myself that does alright. Except it is a harness but didn't go around her backend. So dad ties up this weird net thing. I'm like dad we need something to hold pressure on her bits not just hang on if she pushes it out again. Besides it was totally the wrong size to even be on her back end.
So I've got this spray bottle of water. I've scrubbed my hands and arms. I've got a bucket of water waiting outside the stall. The gross factor of me having to handle that pink/red mass is starting to climb. Spraying off the prolapse. Spraying off my hands. Spraying off the prolapse and wiping off bits of hay and 'other stuff'. Dad has never dealt with a prolapse before (we had dairy goats for years) and had only ever heard of prolapse after birthing. So as I am kneeling on the ground of the stall at the back end of Hairy.. I try to push things in and she bears down.. Dad gives a giggle and asks me if it feels like a breast.. Way to go Dad.. He was serious though he seemed to have a higher gross out factor about it than I did starting out. The weirdest thing to me was just how warm it was. I know weird to get grossed out about considering it all but it was.
So finally Dad and me manage to push and hold and she stops bearing down and it starts sliding back in! Ugh the squelching. Ew. And of course she can't pee like she was so me and dad got a nice urine bath up to the elbows getting it in the last of the way. Then dad was trying to feel around and make sure things weren't wrongly folded in itself or something but neither of us know what it feels like normally so we did our best. (Side note dad has pulled goat kids before but almost never had to reach in and then it wasn't all that much.)
Now we have to figure out what to use on her back end to hold her in. Dad comes up with this strapped plastic peanut butter lid and cuts out part of the center. Well it goes around her whole vulva area. So we kind of cross laced it with some cotton string. She has peed quite a bit and is drinking now.
I keep going up and checking on her. Between me getting the harness on her and us going in and putting her inside bits back inside she had a moment that I wasn't sure. It looked like contractions. If she was a goat I would have told you contractions 210% for sure. However the sheep keep proving me wrong so I'm unsure if she wasn't just straining and grunting in pain/discomfort because of the prolapse. Time shall tell.
I have been trying to breed Coco (mini rex doe) for a while now. She hadn't taken the breedings. I was getting frustrated. Sure enough I go out to take the rams some hay just before dark.. And she had kindled on the wire because I hadn't given her a nest because I absolutely did not feel any babies when I palpated her multiple times.
Luckily the kits are doing alright and I seem to have caught them in time. 3 kits, looks like possibly a white, broken black or blue, broken opal maybe (it was very very light difference of color). It was high of 37*F here today and when I went out it was 30*F. Got a nest in there and she is makin a better nest. Got the babies warmed up and put out in the nest. Good thing I have a jar out there that I saved a bunch of her fur from the first time she kindled (lost to coons sadly) and when I checked back she was pulling more fur and they were still warm. Fingers crossed.
She lost the kits. Ugh. She had moved the next all around and they got pushed out of the hair I'd put in. She had pulled a little more but in a different corner. Bred her back and will put her with the buck again tomorrow.
Updated the lambing thread. Will try to post some more of the lamb races and napping pics/clips here later.
When to keep for expanding breeding ewes vs cull older ewes and harder to manage ewes?
I have a smaller size flock and looking to expand. I am wondering about a couple ewes I bought. They are 3-6y/o ewes and difficult to work with. I am keeping all my ewe lambs and looking into bringing in some other ewe lambs possibly this year. I have 3 proven ewes I know I want to keep and 7 ewe lambs (two more ewes left to lamb so hopefully a couple more!).
But these five ewes are just about seeming to be more trouble than worth. They are nice type and great wool that I would like more lambs from. However they all become legless woolly boulders the second you put a halter on them. And catching them in a pen, to catch them, to put a halter on them... Well the whole thing is an ordeal with these ewes. I don't want them rubbing off their insanity on the keeper ewe lambs. And they get the other proven ewes riled up and make them difficult to work as well.
Do I cull the 5 ewes in favor of what's left of my sanity? (HA!)
Plus if I get decent price from them I could use that to bring in some other ewe lambs?
I am undecided at this point. Hopefully by the time I wean lambs I will have a decision.
Another decision I've been thinking over is CIDRS. It ends up being like $7 per ewe. It will definitely be an investment. I am seriously considering it though. To have most of the ewes lamb in a set week and then any stragglers about two weeks later? That sounds amazing after having this spread out lambing.