Ridgetop - our place and how we muddle along

Ridgetop

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Checked all lambs this am and they are bouncy and lively. Wonder who will lamb today. The more that lamb now, the fewer to worry about in the trailer. Will check with Bob May about how to haul them - separate the lambs and ewes for 24 hours? - keep with mamas and possibly get trampled? Might depend on ages of lambs. We will have to do more paint marking on the lambs to know who they go to. We can't vaccinate until the syringes arrive from Amazon tomorrow. Can't vaccinate so can't dock or tag. BUT we are out of jugs.
:idunno
We may have to make temp jugs for a while. We have a number of 5' Sydell panels that can be put together into jugs. DH said he may move the rams into the night pen and that will free up the small lower pen for the ewes with older lambs BUT no creep. More stress but will manage.
 

Ridgetop

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P4 (Lewis daughter) had twin ewes this am around 9 am. I was just about to get into the shower to get ready for bridge when DH came in and said we had lambs in the pasture. I ran down and cleaned out the 5' x 10' jug and divided it in half. Moved P4 and her twins into it.

Played bridge, partner and I had horrible hands. Went to pick up DGD1 at school. Kids already off playground - they send them to after school program if you don't pick up by 2:30. It was 2:29, but we went to office. No answer at buzzer, called and no answer, went and pounded on door to after school program. No answer. Called DS1 who called DSIL1 who said "No school today". DD1 was supposed to tell us last night. :mad:

Came home and changed then went to clean out barn area where the scale used to live. Moved a couple bags of Dri-Stall, some bags of barn lime, and some other stuff out. Then dragged over 5 5' panels and attached them to the barn to make 2 more 5' x 5' jugs. The are sort of lopsided, but will do. Put water and hay in each. By then it was getting to late afternoon, so I went ahead and fed in the barn, the creep, and the ram pen. Then decided to water and had to dump the ram trough and fill it, along with the large creep trough, and 8 buckets in the barn jugs. Down to the ram pen to dump the trough, adjust the hose, up to the faucet to turn on, up more stairs and around the barn to adjust the creep hose and turn on that faucet. Then do everything backwards up and down stairs to finish with those 2 pens and turn off the water. I am so looking forward to flat ground! Then fill the 8 buckets in the barn jugs. Into the house to collect the crook and go check in front for any more lambs. Across the patio, down a couple steps and a path to the lower pasture. One ewe was up and down, obviously lambing. Back up to patio and across to a better view. Then down more steps and into the sheep pasture on that side. Yes, she was having trouble. DS1 was bringing hay to front pasture and tried to catch her. He has a sinus infection and cough so wasn't too steady. He caught her but only a giant head was presenting. We decide to take her up to the lawn for flat ground to work on. I went up to open gate and ask DS2 for help. Then around to shut another gate and open the pasture gate. While we were herding the ewe out DS1 was herding what I thought was the wrong one. I was wrong and 2 ewes were trying to lamb!
:barnie Finally got both ewes up onto the lawn along with about 10 others. She is a big ewe and was pushing hard so I couldn't find the leg. I had DS2 roll her onto her back and DS1 lifted her butt in the air to take some of the pressure off the pelvis. The front foot was stuck behind his head but finally I got a foot out. But the towels were in the barn and we couldn't get any traction on the hoof to pull him out. I took off my T-shirt and used that. I would have torn up my petticoats, but this wasn't the 1800's. Luckily, I wasn't commando. LOL With the shirt on the leg DS1 pulled the lamb out. A huge ram lamb. This is the 3rd time 8111 has had enormous single lambs that had to be pulled by DS1. She is in a jug and I will see if she has a second lamb. If not, I think I might sell her. She has a lovely flat topline, but it may be a little too level from pin bones to hip which can cause problems with lambing. I am tired of pulling ginormous lambs out of her. The lamb was pretty dozy, but as soon as he was out and we showed him to her she perked up, got up, and went to work on him. I cleaned off his nose and mouth, rubbed him a bit and left him to her on the lawn.

Next was GR26. She is a younger ewe and had a foot sticking out but a giant head was stuck. DS2 caught her but she jumped over Robert's tricycle on the lawn. DS2 didn't clear the trike, but went down hanging on to her. Rodeo time at Ridgetop! I ran up to help him hang on to her and he managed to get to his feet. I thought that with the foot showing it would be easy to pull the lamb but that is not the Ridgetop Way. If it can be hard it will be. The ewe's vagina was very tight and was not stretching to allow her to push out the lamb. It took a lot of time and effort to pull and stretch the vaginal opening over the lamb's head. It didn't help that I didn't have any lube since all that stuff was in the barn and we were lambing these ewes on the front lawn! We were still using my shirt and it took DS1 pulling the lamb, DS2 holding the ewe, and me stretching the opening over the head to finally get the lamb out. Not overly large, but the ewe just didn't stretch enough. A nice ewe lamb but again dozy and not terribly responsive. GR26 jumped up and instead of taking care of her lamb, ran over to 8111's lamb and proceeded to clean him. We took the lamb over to her and 8111 went to work on the ewe lamb. Sheep are idiots.

We moved the ewes and lambs down to the just competed jugs and I was very glad that I had gotten them up. I don't know what will happen tomorrow if more lambs arrive, but DS1 said he will move the rams into the night pen on the field. Then we can put some of the older lambs and their mamas in the pen the rams are in now. Problem will be that those lambs won't have a creep. My second creep gate is in Texas waiting for all these lambs. :lol: I will have to make one tomorrow with PVC and 2 x 4's. Oh yes, and find space for another jug. Or two.
 

SageHill

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P4 (Lewis daughter) had twin ewes this am around 9 am. I was just about to get into the shower to get ready for bridge when DH came in and said we had lambs in the pasture. I ran down and cleaned out the 5' x 10' jug and divided it in half. Moved P4 and her twins into it.

Played bridge, partner and I had horrible hands. Went to pick up DGD1 at school. Kids already off playground - they send them to after school program if you don't pick up by 2:30. It was 2:29, but we went to office. No answer at buzzer, called and no answer, went and pounded on door to after school program. No answer. Called DS1 who called DSIL1 who said "No school today". DD1 was supposed to tell us last night. :mad:

Came home and changed then went to clean out barn area where the scale used to live. Moved a couple bags of Dri-Stall, some bags of barn lime, and some other stuff out. Then dragged over 5 5' panels and attached them to the barn to make 2 more 5' x 5' jugs. The are sort of lopsided, but will do. Put water and hay in each. By then it was getting to late afternoon, so I went ahead and fed in the barn, the creep, and the ram pen. Then decided to water and had to dump the ram trough and fill it, along with the large creep trough, and 8 buckets in the barn jugs. Down to the ram pen to dump the trough, adjust the hose, up to the faucet to turn on, up more stairs and around the barn to adjust the creep hose and turn on that faucet. Then do everything backwards up and down stairs to finish with those 2 pens and turn off the water. I am so looking forward to flat ground! Then fill the 8 buckets in the barn jugs. Into the house to collect the crook and go check in front for any more lambs. Across the patio, down a couple steps and a path to the lower pasture. One ewe was up and down, obviously lambing. Back up to patio and across to a better view. Then down more steps and into the sheep pasture on that side. Yes, she was having trouble. DS1 was bringing hay to front pasture and tried to catch her. He has a sinus infection and cough so wasn't too steady. He caught her but only a giant head was presenting. We decide to take her up to the lawn for flat ground to work on. I went up to open gate and ask DS2 for help. Then around to shut another gate and open the pasture gate. While we were herding the ewe out DS1 was herding what I thought was the wrong one. I was wrong and 2 ewes were trying to lamb!
:barnie Finally got both ewes up onto the lawn along with about 10 others. She is a big ewe and was pushing hard so I couldn't find the leg. I had DS2 roll her onto her back and DS1 lifted her butt in the air to take some of the pressure off the pelvis. The front foot was stuck behind his head but finally I got a foot out. But the towels were in the barn and we couldn't get any traction on the hoof to pull him out. I took off my T-shirt and used that. I would have torn up my petticoats, but this wasn't the 1800's. Luckily, I wasn't commando. LOL With the shirt on the leg DS1 pulled the lamb out. A huge ram lamb. This is the 3rd time 8111 has had enormous single lambs that had to be pulled by DS1. She is in a jug and I will see if she has a second lamb. If not, I think I might sell her. She has a lovely flat topline, but it may be a little too level from pin bones to hip which can cause problems with lambing. I am tired of pulling ginormous lambs out of her. The lamb was pretty dozy, but as soon as he was out and we showed him to her she perked up, got up, and went to work on him. I cleaned off his nose and mouth, rubbed him a bit and left him to her on the lawn.

Next was GR26. She is a younger ewe and had a foot sticking out but a giant head was stuck. DS2 caught her but she jumped over Robert's tricycle on the lawn. DS2 didn't clear the trike, but went down hanging on to her. Rodeo time at Ridgetop! I ran up to help him hang on to her and he managed to get to his feet. I thought that with the foot showing it would be easy to pull the lamb but that is not the Ridgetop Way. If it can be hard it will be. The ewe's vagina was very tight and was not stretching to allow her to push out the lamb. It took a lot of time and effort to pull and stretch the vaginal opening over the lamb's head. It didn't help that I didn't have any lube since all that stuff was in the barn and we were lambing these ewes on the front lawn! We were still using my shirt and it took DS1 pulling the lamb, DS2 holding the ewe, and me stretching the opening over the head to finally get the lamb out. Not overly large, but the ewe just didn't stretch enough. A nice ewe lamb but again dozy and not terribly responsive. GR26 jumped up and instead of taking care of her lamb, ran over to 8111's lamb and proceeded to clean him. We took the lamb over to her and 8111 went to work on the ewe lamb. Sheep are idiots.

We moved the ewes and lambs down to the just competed jugs and I was very glad that I had gotten them up. I don't know what will happen tomorrow if more lambs arrive, but DS1 said he will move the rams into the night pen on the field. Then we can put some of the older lambs and their mamas in the pen the rams are in now. Problem will be that those lambs won't have a creep. My second creep gate is in Texas waiting for all these lambs. :lol: I will have to make one tomorrow with PVC and 2 x 4's. Oh yes, and find space for another jug. Or two.
Well that was one heck of a day! A cringe and laugh out loud kinda day. 😊 Thank goodness those two lambed now and you were there to help.
It will definitely be good when you get to Flattop Ranch 😉 but I’ll miss stories like this one once you’re all settled in. 😊😉
 

Baymule

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Two more ewes lambed! That’s good!
You seem to have a lot of singles, BIG ones! I’m wondering what rams are the sires of these big lambs, or is it all on the ewes. Or is it because they are singles. When you get moved and the dust settles a bit, perhaps you could look at the sires of these big lambs that have to be pulled. @farmerjan breeds heifers to easy calving bulls, bulls that sire small calves. Maybe it’s the same with sheep? Just a thought.

What ewes lamb without help, what ewes need a midwife? What lines are they from or is it just random?

Would you like a Katahdin ram to breed first fresheners to, for possibly a smaller lamb? It would be commercial lambs, but would sell well at auction. Maybe that’s something to try for young ewes.

I seldom have a ewe with delivery problems. Difference in the breed? Smaller shoulders? Diet? Smaller lambs at birth? You will be switching to grass hay and less alfalfa, maybe that will help.

Did the neighbors get a good strip show with you lolling about the front yard with no shirt on? Hahaha!!!!! Never a dull moment with sheep!
 

Ridgetop

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It will definitely be good when you get to Flattop Ranch 😉 but I’ll miss stories like this one once you’re all settled in.
Don't worry, it is just the Ridgetop Way. One day I will tell you all the story of our honeymoon, our first vacation second vacation, etc. :lol: Plenty more laughs coming out way in Texas.

I have had all twins this year with the exception of these last 2 ewes.

GR26 is a first freshener that should have been bred last year but I held off since I thought we wud be in Texas by now. That just shows that excess thought is bad. She was bred to Moyboy. Her full sister twinned without trouble. All 10 of his lambs this year (so far) were small twins. The lamb I pulled from GR26 was not overly large, her vulva was just very tight and wouldn't stretch. Her full sister lambed twins normally this year, as did her mother.

8111 is a 6-year-old ewe and this is her 5th lambing for me. Her first lambs were twins with no problem, these last 4 lambs have been large singles. The ewe is a Nonning daughter out of excellent lines and a Grade 5 ewe which is why she is still here having ginormous lambs needing to be pulled. Her last lamb was another Lewis daughter which needed to be pulled. Her first daughter was a twin out of Lewis, also a Grade 5. I kept both those daughters and will keep this one too. I am not sure why she only has produced singles since her first lambing, but she will get one last chance with another ram. I believe that the beautiful topline I loved on her - dead straight from shoulder to tail is to blame. A ewe should have a very slight downward slant from hooks to pins for ease in delivery. 8111 is completely level. My fault in buying her for that "beautiful level topline".

Funnily enough I was just thinking that I needed a "heifer bull" type ram for her but breeding to a Katahdin wouldn't help because her value is in registered White Dorper lambs. I plan to keep the ram lamb for a while to see how he develops. He may be a nice ram to sell or keep to use because of his bloodlines.

Did the neighbors get a good strip show with you lolling about the front yard with no shirt on? Hahaha!!!!! Never a dull moment with sheep!
:lol::weee:lol: No one can see into our yard since we are on top of the mountain. My adult sons were not impressed with the show and said t was gross. After pulling the second lamb with the T-shirt DS1 tossed it to me and told me to please put it back on before he and his brother went blind! :gig:sick No way! But I had taken off my sweatshirt before trying to pull the lambs, so I put that back on and zipped it up. Propriety observed and trauma averted. I was planning on throwing out that T-shirt anyway before moving. It is about 10 years old faded, and dingy even after washing. I have a lot of T-shirts so won't miss this one.

When I checked last night before bed both lambs were up and sucking so doing well. I had a killer backache! Ibuprofen to the rescue. All my heating pads are in Texas. :\
 

Ridgetop

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Barn is full. Might be able to squeeze in another jug or two by taking apart the current jugs and rebuilding them with extra panels. Too much work.

DS1 suggested we move the rams into the night fold and put the ewes and lambs in the creep into the lower small pen where the rams are currently. We would build anther creep there. Then move the ewes and lambs in the jugs into the creep pen. We discussed it and decided not to move the rams. Instead we will build the new creep in the night fold. Then move the ewes and older lambs in the creep there. Then move the ewes and younger lambs into the old creep. Two flock moves instead of three. Next how to build the creep. We have the 2 x 4's and pins but DS1 suggested we use an old aluminum extension ladder for the lamb creep instead of building one. The holes are large enough for the lambs but not the ewes. We will have to out a piece of fence on top of it, but it will work. We will put it in a corner of the night fold BUT we noticed that there is no wire on the lower section of the panels since the old chain link kennel used to be there. I have some short pieces of stock panel that I can zip tie on to the panels to prevent the tiny lambs from crawling out. Then the creep will go in that corner. Easy fix and quick work for the amount of time until Bob May is able to transport. He said he will be back in California around May 4. That would be a good time period to arrange the transport and my move. I hope we can get some of the jug panels or even just the 5' panels in the trailer with the furniture so I will have the ability to set up some jugs for anyone who has not lambed yet. I have to transport before May 14 or 15 because that is the 30 days for the blood work. I don't want to pay for another ranch call and round of blood work. The horses and rams MUST go by then. Most of the ewes MUST go by then too. We can make a separate trip with lambs under 6 months old if necessary. DS1 cannot leave until after May 7 because he has a dental appt. Bob May is going to call me when he gets to Ca on May 4. We will talk then. We can split off some of the ewes to come a little later as long as it is before the 14th. It will also depend on how many ewes and lambs Bob can transport safely. I also haven't gotten the quote from the insurance people.
 

farmerjan

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I am not sure why the worry about the "creep" for the lambs with them only going to be there for another 2 weeks??? Certainly not for feed reasons... they will be 99% still on just momma's milk right? Is it to help to keep the ewe's from laying on them? After they are several days old, I wouldn't think that the lambs would be easily laid on... and they would be active enough to get up etc if a ewe just flopped down... and the ewe's would be less likely to just plop down on a lamb...
Am I missing something about the sheep ????
 
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