The forecast promised us warming temperatures this week. Perfect for lambing after a sharp cold snap. We awoke on 2/22 to find two perfect Bluefaced Leicester lambs waiting for us from Pearl.
These first lambs precipitated six more over the next four days. We assisted with one case of tangled triplets. The first lamb had his head backwards, so it just took a bit of help to get him oriented correctly. One of this trio of brothers needed a little warming.
This morning, I awoke to find a single ewe lamb snuggling with her mother, already warm and dry. Perfect! I got her situated and then ran errands in Hardwick. On my way home, a friend phoned to ask if I could come help with a difficult lambing. She had been working for an hour and couldn’t reach the vet. Sometimes we just need another set of hands on the problem. So I set off to assist with tangled twins.
We entered the barn to find the ewe lying down uncomfortably. In this case, the extra-large shoulders of the first lamb were blocking the exit, and his sister’s hind legs were also in the mix. Yikes! A gentle massaging of the cervix around the shoulders sent the ram lamb shooting into my waiting arms. Since it was hind legs from the second lamb, I pulled her out as quickly as I could so she wouldn’t take her first breath while still inside Mom. Both lambs seemed fine despite our intense ministrations and Momma ewe looked relieved. A cup of tea and a shepherd-to-shepherd chat session felt good after that.
Matt and I had plans to go to the Taste of Vermont event at Jay Peak this evening. I knew, though, that if I planned to go, lambs were sure to show up and sure enough, they did. As I completed the last session of chores before hopping in the car, I noticed that Frances had toes protruding. She’d had triplets last year, so it felt prudent to stay and observe. A decent-sized ram lamb appeared first, followed by a lovely ewe. Momma barely had time to start licking the second ewe when the third set of toes and nostrils appeared. Two ewes and a ram, all perfectly blue and very lovely.
Six down, 35-40 to go (since we don’t know precisely how many yearlings are pregnant but due later in the season).