Final Lambs for 2010…and a Finnsheep Update

Early Morning Surprise

We were greeted with two new faces this morning when we went into the barnyard.  Shetland Mule Sasha was in the corner near a fence with a black and white lamb.  I quickly checked – YES! – both lambs are ewes.  I bought Sasha and Maliah from Laura Mathews of Psalm 23 Farm when they were 6 months old.  They are both now two years old; Sasha didn’t get bred last year so I wasn’t sure what to expect with her, except that based on her size I thought she would twin.  She was due to deliver, but I thought she still had a few days to go.  It was a pleasant surprise to see that she had delivered early in the morning with no problems.  The lambs were dirty but dry.  A nasty Shetland whether was bashing at the lambs so we scurried to get  them into a jug.  I snipped, dipped, stripped – you have the idea.  Mom ate her hay and laid down with her babes for a well-deserved nap.  Needless to say, I am pleased.  I bred Sasha and Maliah both to Bluefaced Leicester Dougal for 3/4 BFL lambs.  They both had a black and white ewe lamb!

2010 Twin ewe lambs - 3/4 BFL 1/4 Shetland. The black lamb weighed 7lb. 10oz. The white lamb weighed 6lb. 6oz.

2010 Tally

We had 14 lambs born on our farm this year.  Seven boys and seven girls.  Four Finnsheep, four 3/4 Bluefaced Leicesters, two Shetlands and four Mulesheep.  We will likely be keeping most of the ewe lambs so watch the sales list…  I will have to make room for them which means more sheep will need to find new homes.

Finnsheep Lamb Update

Thanks to those of you who sent nice comments and good wishes for the little Finnsheep lambs.  I am happy to report that they are all doing well today.  I weighed them and they have each gained about 4 ounces in18 hours.  Ram lamb #1 – the biggest and strongest is getting along just fine.  Ram lamb #2 is also eating and gaining weight.  However, his little eyes are fused shut, like a newborn pup.  I have checked for inverted eyelids (entropion) and do not see that as the cause.  Also, there is no drainage or tearing.  His little eyes are just – shut.  This is causing him some distress – he bumps into the walls of the jug and calls often for his mom.  She answers back and he heads for the milk.  He also bumps into his siblings, which may give them some stress.  But then he snuggles up with them and all is well.

2010 Finn ram lamb #2 was born with his eyes shut.

2010 Finn ram lambs – #1 in front and #2 in back.

Last night the ewe lamb had a very weak suck reflex and a pitiful, tiny little cry.  Today both of them are much stronger.  Her mouth is warm and she stretches when she gets up.  I have been supplementing her every four hours with two ounces of lamb milk replacer.  Last night I milked out mama so she got her colostrum.  The little ewe is so tiny that her mom’s bag is still a few inches above her head!  I have been placing her at the teat and squeezing some milk into her mouth.  This afternoon, she took a few sucks, bashed mom’s bag with her head and tried finding the teat again.  She’s got the idea and she’s getting stronger so I don’t think it will be too long and she’ll have the hang of it.  She is quite cute, spotted and BROWN, which is not a common Finn color so I hope she makes it.  As she matures, she will be more tame because she is used to being handled by humans.  Her mom Elyna has been doing a great job with her lambs and has been very tolerant of the Shepherdess entering the jug, and messing with her bag, the poor girl!

And finally –

Worried that I should be doing something more for ram lamb #2, I called the Grantsburg Veterinary Clinic and spoke with a sheep/goat vet.  Based on their weights, the lamb with eyes shut, and the weak suck reflex, she thinks the lambs were born a bit premature.  I did not have an exact date for Elyna because I never saw her bred.  She suggested I stay the course and see what develops, so to speak.

2010 Finn ewe lamb with sleeping brother (#2) behind her.

2010 Triplet Finnsheep pile-o-lambs

2010 Triplet Finnsheep ewe lamb sporting her fleece jacket.

7 responses to this post.

  1. I hope they all straighten out and do well. They LOOK a bit premie to me, but then again they aren’t Shetlands.



  2. I didn’t realize they were so small until you posted their weights – wow! I’m glad they are all hanging in there and that Elyna is doing so well. Congrats on the 3/4 BFL lambs and being done with lambing for this spring. Good luck with your premies.



  3. Posted by Tammy on 04/23/2010 at 8:47 AM

    Being preemie makes sense, as far as how they looked so scrawny to start with. I sure hope the little ram opens his eyes soon. That is so odd. The little brown girl is a beaut and you can see an enormous difference in her in these pictures. She looks like she is going to be fine now. Thanks for the update!



  4. I would just like to state for the record that according to you I was born on my due date and still didn’t open my eyes for three days.

    Sometimes, you just want to sleep. 😉

    No, really, glad to see from other posts that the eyes are starting to open!



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: