Friday, 29 March 2013

Good News and Bad News

What a week!

I was making supper on Tuesday evening when Jack came in and announced that there was a ewe lambing.  He said the little hooves were there but they were the wrong way...which meant that the back legs were coming first and not the front legs.  She would need help.

Johanna was put in charge of supper.  Grady, Jack and I headed to the barn.  We had never delivered a lamb that was backwards before, but all went well.  We managed to get it out and it was healthy and BIG.  We headed back to the house...supper would be ready.

As we were eating, Jack said that he read that if it's backwards like that, then usually it's twins.  He reads mostly sheep manuals in his spare time...when he isn't designing barns.  So he ate and then headed back to check on the ewe.

He came back and announced that another lamb had been born.  It was also doing well...but it was sort of small.  He wanted a towel to dry it off, as the mother was not paying attention to it. 

I went out to check on things.  The first lamb was up and about.  The mother was doing well.  But this second lamb was tiny...about a third of the size of it's sister...and it couldn't stand up.

We brought it down to the house, blew a little hot air on it with my handy air dryer and then wrapped it up.  I was thinking that it would be a miracle if it was to was small.

Jack and I worked with the other lamb and got it nursing and then he milked the ewe and we bottle fed the wee one its mother's colostrum.  It was doing well and before bed it was attempting to stand.  I got up in the middle of the night to give it another feed.  We kept it in a laundry basket in the house.

The next morning before Terry left for work, he had a look in at Miss Piggy....and she had delivered her little piglets during the night. us!  We weren't expecting these to be born until the middle of April.  They were early....and they were small.  Maybe she delivered early because she had been moved to a new home so late in her pregnancy.

We she kept lying down on the little ones.  But there wasn't much we could do, as she is rather mean.  She 'took a run' at Grady....even though the day before the boys told me that she couldn't run.  She makes me nervous to begin with, but add some babies to the situation and it's just ugly.  I told the boys to just stay away from her...but they pleaded with me to just take a couple piglets from her and we would look after them.

When Terry got home in the late afternoon, he went in and took two piglets from Miss Piggy.  We brought them into the house....and put them in the laundry basket with the wee lamb.  They snuggled together and they were oh so cute!  But the piglets just weren't 'right'.

I got up during the night to give them all a feed but the pigs just weren't acting right and they were cold.  Thier little bodies were just shutting down.  I separated them to another laundry basket and put a heat lamp over them. By morning, they were dead....and everyone was sad.

BUT...that wee little lamb was trying to jump right out of her basket!  She was doing so well!  Jack took her out to the barn and put her in a special box that he had made with a heat lamp.

Farming is SO unpredictable....and sometimes heartbreaking....and so rewarding.



  1. Love that Jack reads sheep manuals...Sorry to hear about the piglets, that must be a bit of a disappointment.

    1. He actually took his own money to the farm show and bought "A Manual of Lambing Techniques"...he is a serious sheep farmer! The piglets were a HUGE disappointment. Hope you all had a great Easter!


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