If you read my last blog, you might remember that I decided not to breed my lambs that I got last year. At the end of November, I bought a ewe that we believed was pregnant. It’s been a long three and a half months waiting for the lambs. At one point, I thought she might have lost them, but about two months ago I really noticed that she was getting bigger.
Ever since we brought Prancer home, I’ve known exactly how many days it was until March 10 when she was due. I could not have been more excited for lambs. Last weekend she became very uncomfortable. We put her in a jug, a small enclosure for her to lamb in. She has been absolutely miserable all this week.
Thursday night I thought that we were going to have lambs. She had her tail straight up and was very unsettled. Nothing ever happened. I set my alarm for every two hours all night to check her. I have a barn camera (lamb cam) in the barn that streams live to my iPad so I just have to check that. It’s so much better than getting fully dressed to go outside when it’s below zero.
I woke up just past 5:30 this morning and immediately checked the camera. It was just about go time. She was pawing the ground like crazy and making a painful baaing sound. I bundled up in my barn clothes and headed outside. I was not sure that lambing at two degrees was what I had in mind, but it’s what was going to happen. She was in full labor at this point and pushing. I called my parents and told my Dad that if he was coming he needed to get here right away.
Shortly after this, her water appeared. Shortly after that, I saw two front feet and a nose. It was adorable. Within 15 minutes the first lamb had been born. It was a little girl weighing in at 9.9 lbs. Prancer was a great mother and got up and cleaned her off. I worked to dry her off with a towel as well since it was so cold. She tried several times to get up and finally figured it out. She wasn’t really getting the hang of nursing, however.
I was kind of expecting a second one but was so into the first one that I did not realize that over an hour and a half had gone by. My Mom googled and said that twins are typically born between 15-30 minutes apart. This suddenly began to concern me. By this time, she was fully contracting but getting nowhere. I messaged my greatest shepherd mentor Meg, who runs the barn where I work, and asked her what she thought. She asked if I could see if I could feel around in there and see what I could find.
I found two feet upside down and no nose. I called Meg and she said that I had a breech lamb, but that we could work with that. With it now being two hours, I knew that she needed help. Meg said that every time she contracted, I needed to pull. I had bought gloves that went all the way up to my shoulder so I was ready. Each time she contracted, I pulled and within about five minutes we had a second lamb. I got a towel and quickly started to dry her off and make sure she was breathing. She was a spunky little one and trying to get up within 10 minutes. She was a tad smaller at 9.3 lbs.
As soon as she was out, Prancer started to push some more. I went to investigate and found two feet and a little nose headed out. Our third little lamb was born within 10 minutes of the second one. The third one was a little ram who weighed in at 9.9 lbs as well.
Lambs can be anywhere from 5-12 pounds but typically range between 8-10. Usually, however, multiples tend to be smaller. To think that she had 30 pounds of lamb in her, plus all the afterbirth is just crazy.
We ended up bringing two of them inside my house to warm up for a while, but both of them were able to return outside and she had no problem accepting them back.
I really wanted white lambs. Prance has white, brown, and black so I really did not know what we were going to get. We got three adorable white lambs. Last year I went with M names and this year I decided to go with S names.
Last year, my nephew made up the name Spagurn. He really wanted me to name one of the ones that we got last year Spagurn and I said ummm, no. Stupidly I said maybe next year hoping he’d forget. Well, he didn’t and I didn’t have the heart to say no. Hence, the little boy is Spagurn. The first little girl out we named Savannah. There was a lot of internal debate with the second little girl, but I finally decided on Samantha and might end up calling her Sammy. Savannah is nearly all white, Samantha has a few freckles on her nose, and Spagurn has a little brown on the tip of his ears. Spagurn is having a little trouble with one of his back legs, but I’m hoping as he uses it that it will get better.
It has been an amazing day. This evening all seem to be up and nursing well. I could not be more pleased with the three little precious miracles that I have. Life is really a miracle of God and I am so blessed that I was able to experience what I did this morning. I can’t wait to play all weekend!