Way back in early November, we put our breeding ram Limerick in with eight girlfriends. Seven Jacob girls, and one Romeldale kept him busy for some time. It’s now been over 147 days since we first put them all together, and we are seeing the results!
Late at night on Saturday April 3rd, I couldn’t sleep, so I decided to go and check on everyone. Citra surprised me with a little ram lamb! I moved her and baby into the barn, gave her some hay, grain, and water, and let her bond with baby. When I went out in the morning, two little baby faces greeted me! I was quite surprised, as she wasn’t very large, but there were two babies in there! Citra and Limerick produced two brown eyed, four horned ram lambs. And they are already so much bigger than the other lambs, just being a week older!
We then had almost a week between births. Finally, on Friday the 9th, one of our other four horn ewes went into labor out in the pasture. I managed to catch that one on video! You can watch that here. Once Janus got that baby cleaned up, I could tell she had a second one coming. You can see the bag hanging from her in the video. I convinced her to walk up to the barn by carrying the little ram lamb in front of her, and we got the two of them settled. She wasn’t making any progress on her own, so I got some lubricant (we use vegetable oil) and helped the little ewe lamb out! Momma was very intent on keeping me as far away from her babies as possible, so once I made sure baby was breathing, I left them alone so they could get to know each other.
After two nearly perfect births, Cascade decided to throw a wrench in the gears. Last year, she had twins, and one was massive for some reason. That one didn’t make it. This year, she had triplets. The first one was a ram, and he unfortunately didn’t make it. The second, a ewe, came out with assistance, and she is doing well. The third, another ewe, was tangled up in her legs, and couldn’t get out on her own. She needed a lot of help, and unfortunately also didn’t make it. This was a huge blow to me personally, and even though I KNOW these things happen, and there was little I could do, I still felt like I failed my animals. Cascade will be retired from breeding, and live on the farm as a pet. I’m not sure why she had issues two years in a row, but after talking it over with our vet, it seems like she may have a narrow pelvis, making it difficult for babies to get out. After giving birth, Cascade was having issues feeding her single lamb. Her body was ready for three babies, but she only had one, and appeared to be over-producing. This made it difficult for the baby to latch on and nurse. We milked her out a couple times, and that seemed to help things. We are still cautiously optimistic about this ewe lamb, and keeping a close eye on her and mom.
Yesterday morning I went out to do chores, and found Hallertauer with her baby all cleaned up and dried off. We like to give the moms and babies a little privacy, so we move them into the barn so they can spend some time without goats and chickens bothering them. This also allows us to check mom over to make sure she is doing alright, and we give her some extra nutritious food for the first day or two, to help with milk production. Her little ram lamb has quite the silly looking facial markings, but he’s cute as a button! They are back out on the pasture today, because Halle was tired of being apart from her friends!
We still have four girls to go, and we are looking forward to what those babies all look like! Keep an eye on our Instagram to see photos of them as they arrive.