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SHEEP TALES.....

~ SHEEP TALES ~

Happenings from Aroun​d the Farm

Elliottdale Lambs

, 2020

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Vinnie Baa-barino

19 - 26 September

What started out as a nice week watching the Babydoll babies grow, turned into a week we would rather forget, when Vinnie, one of our little Babydoll boys had to go in for surgery. We were out feeding the three bottle babies on Wednesday, when I noticed a rather large lump on Vinnie's tummy where his umbilicus was. We caught him and sure enough it looked and felt like an umbilical hernia. We made an appointment with the Vet for the following morning, expecting it to be a minor hernia repair. Dr Abigail looked at it and felt it and said it was rather large and needed to be operated on immediately, so we left Vinnie there for the day. It was also decided he would be castrated at the same time. We were worried about him as sheep do not cope well with anaesthetic, as we had found once before when we lost a lamb after an operation. The call finally came that Vinnie was in Recovery but was not coping very well, so it would be a few more hours before we could pick him up. Speaking to Dr Abigail when we picked Vinnie up, we discovered that Vinnie had been on the operating table for two and a half hours, as the hernia repair had turned into major surgery when Abigail made the first incision and Vinnie's intestines came spilling out. That was not good and everything had to be put back, the hernia repaired, the castration done and Vinnie stitched up. This was further complicated by Vinnie dying on the operating table, but fortunately Dr Abigail and Dr Dana brought him around. Vinnie's reaction to all of this was to take four hours to wake up after the operation, worrying everyone a bit more. Anyway, he came home and we have been nursing him since. It also meant he was unable to go back to his Mum and sister, so I had to try and get Vinnie onto a bottle, which is not easy to do with a four week old lamb. Twenty-four hours of perseverance finally paid off and Vinnie is now loving his bottle. Fortunately, he is a real little fighter and has bounced back beautifully. We still have a few days to go until we are out of the woods.

To top the week off, Saturday brought an icy cold snap to the Farm and  more snow than we have ever seen before. It was beautiful to watch, but the girls and the lambs were not overly impressed. Hopefully now, Spring will actually appear and we may get a bit of warm weather. Fingers crossed..........

This Week's Happenings

 11 - 18 September, 2020

We have had a nice, quiet week following the Babydoll lambing. The Mums and Babies have settled in well and got into their daily routines of breakfast feeding then heading down to the day paddocks for grazing. Come late afternoon, they head back to the Home Paddock and wait for us to put their hay in the Night yard, where they spend each night. Here they are safe from foxes until the little ones grow a bit bigger. The babies are all growing well and are all starting to taste new things, including their grain mix in a morning and their hay at night. During the day they can be found grazing with their Mums, chasing around the paddocks or lazing in the sun, on the few days when the sun has been out. 

Their favourite time is first thing in the the morning when they are let out of the Night yard. While their Mums are having brekky, they play Chasey around the large dam or practise balancing on the large, fallen log that we have left for them to play on. 

The Miniature Cheviot and Elliottdale girls are currently grazing in another paddock, but will shortly be brought in with the Babydolls, while we wait for their lambs to be born. We saw a large fox in their paddock earlier in the week so we will bring them closer to the house as their lambing time approaches. Foxes are one of the things we have to live with, so we try to make it as difficult as possible for them to snatch any lambs. 

The rain we have had and a little bit of sunshine have finally started some growth in the grass but as usual, the lawn is growing more than the pasture. I let a couple of our Elliottdale boys, Blinky and Mulga Bill out into the garden to help with some mowing. Blinky decided to do a bit of weeding and "pruning" as well. Fortunately I was able to supervise the pruning!! 

More photos and videos of our lambs can be found on our Facebook and Instagram pages. 

And Just Like That, It's Over......

10 September, 2020

And so our Babydoll lambing is completed for the 2020 season. We lambed twenty-one ewes and we have twenty-one ewe lambs and twelve ram lambs on the ground. Unfortunately we had two losses, both of which were ewe lambs. We have three little ewe lambs we are bottle feeding. We now have a short break before a few of the Mini Cheviots and the Elliottdales lamb. Here are a few of the Babydoll cuties.

Saddest Day

9 September, 2020

We were devastated this morning as we lost our last little Babydoll to be born this season and I think it could have been avoided if I had found her in time. We checked them this morning and nothing was happening. We went out to feed them around an hour later and Poppy was giving birth to a lamb, that was stuck. The lamb's head and one leg were out, but the lamb was dead as it's head was covered in the amniotic sac and it had suffocated. I tore the sac away from the baby's face and pulled her out but there was nothing I could do. The sac was very thick and looked like a piece of thick plastic. I have never seen that before and never want to see it again. The lamb's face behind that sac will haunt me. If only I had got there earlier, we would have, at least, had a chance of saving her. Poppy, in the meantime, is fine. As soon as I pulled the lamb out and sat Poppy up, she jumped up and bolted. It was her first lamb and she was not concerned at all. I don't think she even understood what had happened. So I am thankful she was not calling for her lost baby. 

Twins for Miss Piggy

8 September, 2020

After several days of watching Miss Piggy like a hawk, she gave every intention of lambing all day yesterday. She was uncomfortable all day and as the day wore on into the night, we knew it was going to be a late one, as the signs were getting stronger and stronger. Piggy has always been my worry one, as this is her first lambing and she is quite a big girl, as in, she loves her food. At 11.45pm, labour began, but it was a very slow delivery. Piggy was up and down and pushing, but not really in earnest. Then she would stop and start eating. This was not normal behaviour and I eventually decided it was time for a bit of intervention. I don't like to intervene unless it is absolutely necessary, but this had gone on for too long with no progress and she was getting tired. Geoff held Piggy while I checked what was going on. I could feel the lamb and it seemed to be presented well, with front legs and the head able to be felt, but it was very high up and not moving forwards at all. Piggy had given up and was not even pushing anymore. It seems despite her size, Miss P. has quite a small pelvis and the lamb was well and truly stuck. I could barely get my hand in but managed to get hold of the two front legs and with a fair bit of strength pull the baby down and out. It was 1am when I got the little ewe on the ground and she was alive. Phew! We gave her a rub with the towel and put her in front of Piggy, who immediately started licking her. So far, so good. I was fairly certain there was another one to come, but decided to see, if Piggy could deliver the second by herself, as I had already paved the way. Half an hour later we went back and Miss P. was starting labour again, but as before, she stopped pushing and just lay there. Okay, here we go again. This time, things were not in my favour, as I could only feel one leg and the head and again, the lamb was very high and again it was stuck. This one was really hard to get as he had a boofy head, so I knew it was going to be a ram lamb. His nose was out and his tongue was turning blue, so I knew I had to work quickly. With one hand holding the leg I had partly extracted and the other hand cradling his shoulder, I was able to slightly twist him and pull him out. His other leg was over his head but moved to the side as I turned him slightly. Finally he was out, but needed a really good rub to get him going. Handing him over to Mum, I was very relieved to see her licking him and to see him raise his head. It was now 2.15 am and we gave Mum some well earned supper and left them to bond. I was pretty sure there were no others, but I got up and  3.30am to check on them and was happy to see all was well, both lambs were drinking and Piggy had delivered the afterbirth.

Still No New Babies

6 September, 2020

It was a beautiful Spring day today and it would have been the perfect day for Miss Piggy, the barrel on legs, to have her lambs, but no matter how firmly I suggested it, she decided that today was NOT the right day and determinedly hung on. Meanwhile, the lambs decided it was the perfect day to get some extra Vitamin D and spent some quality time lazing around in the sunshine. What a life!! 

Boys in Grass Heaven

5 September, 2020

Another quiet day today on the lambing front while we not-so-patiently wait for Miss Piggy and Poppy to lamb. Piggy looks so close, I'm sure she's going to go anytime, but no, she keeps hanging on. 

So today we gave some of the boys a treat. One corner of their paddock has been sectioned off as it was so wet and it is where we had been feeding them their hay. Consequently it had grown some lovely grass from the seed that was in the hay. The boys have been eyeing it off for weeks and nibbling around the edges where they could, So today we pulled back the temporary fence and let them in for a feed. They were in seventh heaven with their heads down and tails up munching to their heart's content. This flock is the young rams and a few wethers, so there are Elliottdales, Babydolls, Cheviots and a Cheviot cross. They spent a lovely couple of hours grazing it and did a great job of cutting it down. 

Good job, Boys!

Two New Sets of Twins Today

4 September, 2020

Geoff went out to check on Miss Piggy this morning, as she had put herself in a lambing pen last night, so we have been watching her closely, only to find Bilberry had also put herself in a lambing pen and gone one step further than Piggy, by giving birth to a lovely little set of twins. We have one boy and one girl. Well done, Bilberry! Welcome to the Farm, Bramble and Huckleberry.

Not to be outdone by her friend, Bilberry,  Winnie also went into labour this afternoon and we watched her give birth to one little girl. Before this one was even dry, Winnie had her second little lamb and it was another girl. Great work, Winnie. It was late in the day, so we quickly wrapped the two babies in towels and walked Mum and Bubs back to the yard, where we were able to pop the three of them in a pen, for them to continue bonding. Welcome to the Farm, Florence and Elsie. What a great day with three little ewes and one little ram being added to the total.. So that brings us down to only two more Babydolls to lamb; Miss Piggy and Poppy. We know Poppy will be later as she didn't scan as pregnant when we tested her, so she was not as far along as the other girls. So she will probably be the last to lamb. Miss Piggy? Who knows! I have been expecting her to go for a few days now, but she is still holding on. 

The Bottle Babies

3 September, 2020

No new babies again today, so I'm sharing these cuties. We have three bottle babies this year; the twins belong to Suzie, and Suzie was the ewe who prolapsed and needed veterinary attention. Consequently, she was not fit enough to take on the twins and the babies were a little compromised as they were premature. Hence we chose to bottle feed them. The third baby, Holly, was totally rejected by her Mum, so joined the twins. They really do have the cutest little faces. :-) 

Tail End Lambing

2 September, 2020

With only a few more girls to lamb, we have slowed down considerably with new arrivals. There are still four ewes to go, and I think three of them will be having twins at least. Little Poppy looks like she may be having a single which is good as she is a very small Babydoll and this is her first lamb. Miss Piggy, on the other hand, Looks like she may be having at least twins, but for today there were no new babies. The photos attached are of Miss Piggy's belly....hmmm...twins or triplets? Time will tell. The other photos are of Master Bertie, the teeny tiny boy who we were feeding due to Mum's blocked teat, but is now back feeding from Mum. Bertie is doing very well and for such a little guy, he has a huge personality. 

When the Milk Bar Doesn't Work Properly

1 September, 2020

The first day of Spring dawned as a beautiful, if a bit windy day. There were no new babies born today. The last four girls are going to keep us in suspense a bit longer. That does not mean it was a quiet day as we discovered Fern, who seemed to be having trouble managing to feed her twin boys had a blocked teat. No wonder it was difficult as it had become swollen and too large for the babies to get their mouths around. Plus the effort was not worth it, as there was no reward. The photos tell the story with the first photo being the blocked teat and the second photo being the normal teat. So out with the hot compresses, a bit of massage and some milking to try and get things working. I had tried this earlier but had no success. However after watching a video of how to milk a sheep, which, by the way, is totally different to a cow, the good white stuff started flowing. We left Fern with her babies hoping they would try the new and improved Milk Bar, but to no avail. They still just went to the other side. Enter, Muffin, the always hungry bottle baby! There was no way she was going to leave a teat untouched regardless of its size  and she happily drank some of the liquid gold. Hopefully this would help to bring the teat back to normal size. A little later we tried Fern's boys and although Buster was not up for the challenge, tiny Bertie was and the prize was his. Up until now I had been bottle feeding Bertie, but this was the end of that. Despite my getting up at 2am every night, I was thrown to the side in favour of the Real Mumma and I have never been happier! ;-) At the 10pm feed, Bertie came over to the bottle and practically spat the milk out, as apparently Mum's is so much better. Yayyy! No more 2am feeds for this little guy and I am pleased to say Mum's teat has decreased to normal size so all is well in Fern's, Buster's and Bertie's world.

Shepherding the Longwools

31 August, 2020

A quiet day today for lambing as we get down to the last few Mums-to-be, with only four more Babydolls to lamb. It was a beautiful, almost Spring day, despite the dark clouds, so I took a little time away from the lambs to shepherd the Longwool girls down to a fresh paddock. There is a mixture of Elliottdales, Cheviots and Lincolns in this flock and boy were they excited to be in a new paddock of fresh green grass. Once they arrived at their green Utopia it was heads down, tails up and they didn't even know I was there. Usually they are up for some chin rubs, but today the grass was calling. It was lovely to spend some time with these gorgeous girls, some of whom are due to commence lambing in around one month's time. I cannot wait for the first of these babies to arrive. After spending some time listening to the sounds of happy munching I left them to their grazing. I looked back as I walked up the laneway and they didn't even know I had gone. :-)

Twins to Miss Viola

30 August, 2020

I was out giving Master Bertie his late afternoon feed in one of the Maternity shed pens when I thought I heard a tiny, little "Baa" coming from the paddock. Looking over in the general direction I could see a little spot of white on the ground, no, two spots of white and a Mum. Finished Bertie's feed off and grabbed a couple of towels and went over to investigate. Sure enough, twins, born in a lovely patch of dirt. All the grass around and they still love to do this. As it was starting to get dark, I picked them both up and fortunately, Viola being a good girl, followed me and her crying babies to the awaiting pen, where we cleaned them up and gave Mum some supper. A little boy and a little girl. Well done, Viola! And all tucked in before dark.

The Arrival of Miss Flora

29 August, 2020

Only one new arrival today as we head towards the tail end of the Babydoll lambing. A 2am check on the girls while feeding Master Bertie and this little petal was just sitting under a tree with her Mum, Lily. She was all cleaned and ready to just pick up and put in a pen. Mum had a late supper and I was back in bed before I knew it. Well almost; it did take a little while to move Mum into the pen as sheep don't work well by torchlight. Welcome to the farm, Miss Flora. 

Another Quiet Day

28 August, 2020

Another quiet day today, with no new lambs to add to the tally, which after yesterday's events is not a bad thing. All of yesterday's babies are doing well and teeny tiny Bertie is loving his bottles.

Here are a couple of photos of Cupcake who wants to be a Koala. 

And We're Off Again

27 August, 2020

Well, the peace and quiet of yesterday didn't last long, with four lots of babies being born today and what a lovely day it was for lambing. We started early as the 6am check revealed Misty had given birth to twin lambs, a ewe and a ram. They were all cleaned up nicely so we were able to pop them in a pen, do the necessary birthing bits and give Mum a feed. While organising Misty and her babies, it was obvious that Clara was also in the later stages of labour and in less than an hour, Clara, too, had given birth to twins. This time it was twin ewes and she chose a lovely patch of dirt in which to introduce them to the world. Oh, Clara, not the best spot! Never mind. Into a pen, cleaned up and Mum given her well-deserved breakfast. 

The afternoon proved to be a little more difficult with Fern giving birth to her lamb in the paddock and deciding that she wanted nothing to do with it. I watched her give birth and she stood up and just walked away without even a backward glance. Okay, this was going to be a bit harder to fix. I rang Geoff to come down and help me to get them both into the yard. While I was standing there waiting, I looked across the fence to see Tiny had also just given birth to a single lamb. I hopped over the fence and quickly checked them. They were both fine. Tiny was cleaning her lamb and grazing at the same time. She is a great multi tasker and not much fazes her, so she would be fine until we had sorted Fern out. We finally got Fern back into a pen with her baby, who I cleaned up and left with her in the hope of some bonding happening. Geoff went to check them half an hour later and lo and behold another lamb, a very tiny ram lamb, who she had also dropped and ignored. She was, however, paying slight attention to her first born, so all may not be lost. He was hungry by now, so Geoff held Fern while I guided the baby to her teat. She quite happily let him drink and after that she didn't look back. I cleaned up the teeny tiny one and hoped she would take to him as well. As it has turned out, she loves him but does not seem to have enough milk for both so we are co-parenting the new baby. She is looking after him and teaching him to be a sheep and I am helping with the bottle feeding. So far, so good. She has accepted my help and the little guy is doing well. Welcome to the farm Buster and Bertie. Meanwhile we had also brought Tiny and her little ewe lamb up to the pens and they too, were doing all the right things. Welcome, little Gidget. So, one day, six new lambs to add to the flock and no-one had to be brought inside. :-)


Time for a Breather

26 August, 2020

A quiet day for both sheep and shepherds today with no lambs being born. Here are a couple of photos of Sophie when I asked her to smile for the camera and the beautiful sunset that closed this quiet day.

Rosie's Day has Arrived

25 August, 2020

The lambing I have been the most worried about happened today and fortunately it all went smoothly. Rosie started with major breathing problems a couple of months ago and after a couple of antibiotic treatments that did not help, we decided to have an x-ray performed to see if we could get a definitive diagnosis. There was some kind of mass on the images that the Vet thought was a bone tumour, but it was still hard to say for sure, as an abscess may have appeared to be similar on imaging. Stronger antibiotics did not help either so we decided to just let Rosie take it easy with as little stress in her life as possible, as stress exacerbates the issue, and hopefully she would be able to lamb successfully and rear them herself.

I went out on the rounds at 2am to find Rosie had lambed her twins, which we were expecting, in a sheltered spot in the garden. They were tiny but cleaned up beautifully and quite strong. The birth had taken a toll on Rosie as she was breathing heavily and with difficulty. We put her and her lambs in the shed on their own to give Rosie some time to recover as well as some bonding time with her lambs. I could not put coats on the little girls as Rosie strongly objected. Fortunately it was warm in the shed and they were on a bed of straw.  Rosie was finding getting up and down tiring, but she was doing it for her babies. All day was difficult for her and I dreaded to think what may have to happen next, as she was even finding eating difficult. We decided to see what transpired over the next twenty-four hours and happily her breathing improved with rest and she was able to eat and be as normal as she can be with her problem. The Vet saw her again a few days later and she has improved to the point where we have decided to play it day to day and see how she goes. Hopefully it is not a tumour, but if it is we hope it will progress slowly and give Rosie enough time to see her babies grow. We always hope for miracles here and who knows, we may just get one. Rosie's baby from last year was little Hope, who spent her first day in the hospital as she was premature and fighting for life. She has had a happy ending, so there is always hope. Welcome to the farm, Faith and Charity.

Runaway Mum Number Two

24 August, 2020

During the early hours of this morning, Mum-to-be Penny gave birth to a single little ewe lamb, in a sheltered spot in the garden. No fuss, no bother; just a nice, easy birth. When I went out to check, little Prudence was all cleaned up and I just had to pop them in the shed, dip little Prue's umbilical and put a coat on her while Mum settled down to a well deserved feed. And what better coat for this little poppet then one with cute rainbow stripes. Well done, Penny. Welcome to the farm, Prudence.

But the fun wasn't over for the day, as when Geoff went on the rounds just after 7am, he found Miss Pansy lay as if she was dead and her lamb behind her, still in its delivery package! He quickly broke open the bag that was surrounding the lamb's face and rang me to bring a towel. I raced up to the shed to find the lamb spluttering and Pansy nowhere in sight, she had made a dash for it. There was no way she was having anything to do with this baby. We quickly rubbed the lamb down and partly towelled her off and carried her in search of Mum. Several times I put her near Mum but, she was having none of it, so we put the lamb in a pen and caught Mum and put them in together. Pansy was so spooked she just kept running around over the top of her baby, so we decided enough was enough and we brought little Hollyhock inside to join the Bottle Brigade. Little Holly hasn't looked back and is living the Life of Riley, in front of the fire with her Besties and milk on tap! :-)

Today was a Sad Day​

23 August, 2020

Today was our saddest day so far during lambing. It was a bitterly cold night and we opted to keep the Mums-to-be in the garden as they had access to the big machinery shed and a lot of tree cover, plus it was easier for us to keep an eye on them during the night. We were checking two hourly, in the hope this would be enough, as if any of them lambed we could get them into the shed, dry them off and put a coat on them. Unfortunately, it was not enough and somewhere between 4am and 6am Mary gave birth to twins; a little ewe and a very small ram lamb. Sadly, we think Mum may have paid more attention to the ram lamb as when Geoff went out to check on everyone, he found the little ewe had succumbed to the cold. The little ram, who was smaller than his sister was fine, although he took a bit of drying off and warming, as you can see in the photo. So whether the ewe was compromised or just too cold we will never know. So far, she has been our only loss. The pictured lamb is little Freddie, who despite how he looks in the photo is happy and well as in other photo. Welcome to the farm, Master Freddie.

Boofa & the Runaway Mum

22 August, 2020

Boofa made his entry into the world mid afternoon in the middle of an icy cold hailstorm. It was thoughtful of Mum to have him in the middle of the day, but not so considerate to not have him in the big shed to which the remaining soon-to-be Mums now have access, as the Maternity Wing is full. Normally the girls would only be in overnight, but this icy cold blast has caused a bit of havoc with our best laid plans. So the big machinery shed is the new temporary go-to lambing area. However, Cupie was having none of it. She had chosen her spot on the grass and here she was going to stay and if the Midwife had to assist in a hailstorm, so be it. I watched Cupie for a while and she was having a tough time, with her straining looking like it may have ended with a rectal prolapse, she was pushing so hard. So, it was time to intervene. Geoff held while I headed to the working end. Toes and nose were visible, so it shouldn't be too hard, I thought. Wrong! This hmmm....not-so-little guy had not read the Manual that says, "Please approach exit with both front legs extended." instead he had both legs locked at the elbows and with his boofy ram head, there was no way he was entering the world like this. I didn't think I was ever going to get him out and it took quite a bit of manoeuvring to get both legs straight. Even then it was a tight fit but once I got that boofy head out, the rest just slipped through. Mum, meanwhile was off with the fairies and didn't even realise her baby was on the ground. Geoff let go of her and I gave her a bit of a shake to wake her and she jumped up and bolted, leaving us standing there with her baby. I wrapped the towel around him and took off after her, finally catching up about fifty metres away. I put Boofa down and she came over and looked at him, sniffed him and started cleaning him. After leaving them for a few minutes I picked him up and she followed us to a pen. She has not stopped kissing him and loving him since. I have never had a ewe do a runner like that before but it was another happy ending and a lesson learned. Next time put the lamb in FRONT of Mum before you wake her up. :-)

What a Day!

21 August, 2020

The day started at 1am when I went out to check on the girls. It was cold and had been raining and Sophie, a tiny maiden ewe had decided to lamb, not in the warm, straw filled shed, but in the corner of the yard in the mud. Soph was not 100% sure what was going on but was trying to clean her baby, as best she could. I wrapped baby in a towel and took her into a pen. Mum, obligingly followed. Phew! Gave her a good towel dry and warm up and backed away to observe. Baby got up to feed but the thought of that was freaking Sophie out and my trying to help was hindering so I thought I would go inside, have a cuppa and check them again in half an hour. Checking the others by torchlight showed that Suzie Snoozie had developed a largish prolapse. Oh No! This was not going to be good. I figured the best course of action would be to ring the Vet as soon as they opened and hope someone could come out early. While inside I googled "sheep vaginal prolapse" because, you know, what else is there to do at  2am while waiting for a ewe and lamb to bond? Doesn't everyone does this? :-) At least Google agreed with me. The prolapse was too big for us to deal with and could even contain some bladder, so a Vet was needed. I sighed with relief when I went back out to find Sophie feeding her baby and loving it to pieces and Suzie's prolapse was no worse. 

I called the Vet as soon as they opened and was relieved that Dr Dana would be out ASAP, straight after another lambing she had to attend. Geoff had put Suzie in a pen and when I checked on her, horror of horrors, she had gone into labour and was trying to lamb through the prolapse. Back onto the Vet, "Is there anything I can do?" The advice was keep a watch on her but best to wait for the Vet, as it could be complicated. They were not wrong!! Fortunately Dana arrived shortly afterwards and after a quick look at the situation, grabbed her tools of the trade and set to work. Meanwhile Mabel had decided to start lambing at the back of the shed, and Marigold was in second stage of labour in the yard. This was going to be fun. Fortunately Geoff was able to hold Suzie, while the Vet worked on her and I rushed between the three, Helping Mabel and getting her into a pen and watching Marigold, who seriously deserved an Oscar for her lambing performance. I have never heard a ewe so vocal! 

Seeing a Vet who truly knows what she is doing at work is an amazing thing and Dr Dana saved three lives that day, so we are forever grateful. She gave Suzie an Epidural and within minutes the prolapse was back in place. If I'm making it sound easy, believe me, it was not, but Dana knew what she was doing. Then it was arm in to extract the lamb, which again was not easy as it was quite a way back. Finally the lamb was delivered, along with a fair amount of blood, which was a worry. I got to work cleaning and drying the lamb while Dana went back to see if there were anymore. I said I suspected twins but she couldn't feel the second one, so she began cleaning Mum out. Then she said, "Hang on, there is another one, she is just pushing it through." So amidst a large amount of blood the second lamb was born. At this stage I had to rush over to Marigold who had just dropped her second lamb but hadn't even noticed it. I popped it in front of her, so she could actually see it and raced back to help Dr Dana with the second lamb. At least Marigold's Oscar winning, screaming, baby birthing scenario was now over while she cleaned them both up.

By this stage Dana had gently swung the second lamb to try and help it to breathe and I had the job of rubbing vigorously with a towel while muttering prayers to the Sheep Gods to help this little one out. Something worked and she sputtered to life, albeit, blood covered and a little like something from a Horror movie. But she was alive. Dr Dana had now cleaned Mum up, stitched her up, given her all of her meds. and checked on the babies. She gave us a rundown on what to do and what to possibly expect.....she was not happy with the amount of blood but couldn't feel any tears, so hopefully all would be good. All in a days' work in the Life of a Vet. Absolute Kudos to her. Three lives saved and it was barely mid-day! After Dr Dana had left we gave the trio a rest and then went back to try to get the lambs to drink from Mum. Suzie was still out of it and not the least bit interested. The lambs appeared to be premature, as they were both down on the their pasterns, their eyes were barely open, their teeth had not erupted and their wool was patchy and underdeveloped. I think Mum had gone into early labour, thinking the prolapse was a lamb and she was trying to push it out. We decided to err on the side of caution and bring the babies inside for some Colostrum. The odds of survival were not in their favour, with the weather and Mum's current state. Plus this would give Mum the best chance of healing quickly. So two bottle babies are now in our care. In the end, the nightmarish start gave way to a good day, with six healthy Babydoll lambs on the ground. Welcome Muffin, Cupcake, Mr Darcy, Daisy, McGee and Phoebe. Now for a well deserved glass of wine. :-)

A Quiet Day 

20 August,  2020

No babies at all today so the girls spent the day doing some mowing, weeding and fertilising in the garden. A nice relaxing day for them and for the Midwife too. The weather is beginning to take a turn for the worse and we are not looking forward to the predictions of what is to come. The Mums and babies can cope with the rain, but when you have a predicted wind chill factor of -1, with strong, icy winds, things tend to get a little complicated. We are going to need to be on our toes!

Miss Minnie

19 August 2020

Minnie has always been a sheep close to my heart. As a lamb she was the quietest, little girl, not fazed by anything and just lovely to be around. I remember when The Weekly Times journalist and photographer were here, doing a story on the Elliottdales and after the shoot I couldn't find Dale Webster, the journalist anywhere. I finally found her in the yard, flat to the ground, camera in hand, taking close-up shots of baby Min, who was happily just sitting there looking at her. Of course, Dale got a cuddle as well and we got a lovely photo of Min, as Dale is a pretty fine photographer too.  Minnie has always loved a cuddle, so I was looking forward to the arrival of her babies and yes, from the size of her, we were expecting twins.

After watching Min all day, knowing the babies' arrival was going to be soon, we had to wait until nearly midnight to meet them. Mouse arrived first and her birth had stressed her a little, but after a good rub with the towel and a licking from Mum, she was fine. Min started pawing the ground again and we knew Baby Number 2 was on it's way. The baby was perfectly presented but Min was just not pushing at all and the afterbirth started protruding around the lamb, so it was time to intervene. Once I had hold of the feet and the water bubble burst, Min realised another baby needed her help and in no time little Moocher was on the straw. Another towel dry as it was pretty cold, even though they were in the Maternity wing, and soon they were both snuggled up with Mum. At this stage she would not let either of them drink, which is not unusual when the afterbirth is trailing behind, so we came in for a cuppa. After twenty minutes we went to check, expecting to have to help out a bit, only to find both girls happily drinking from Mum. Phew! And I'm pleased to say Moocher is just like Mum as she loves a cuddle. Mouse, on the other hand, hardly keeps still long enough for even a pat! It seems we have chalk and cheese twins!

Luna's Arrival​

18 August 2020

Luna was another super easy lambing and in fact, I didn't even know Hermione was ready to lamb as she was showing no outward behavioural signs. So, it was a bit of a surprise when I went out to check the Maternity Yard at 7.00pm, to find this little poppet already cleaned up and drinking from Mum. I should not have been surprised as Mum, Hermione, is a very capable Mum and last year gave birth to twins, Rose and Hugo, in a similar fashion. So we popped both Mum and Bub in a pen for the night and gave Hermione her well deserved supper and all was well. Luna certainly is a little cutie, much like her Harry Potter namesake, Luna Lovegood. This is going to be a special, little girl. 

First Babydoll Lambs of 2020 

17 August 2020

After five months of waiting, our first Babydoll lambs of the Season were born today. A little bit prem. as they could be 147 days old at the most, the twin boys arrived at around mid-day. I had just come home from shopping and went out to check the girls, to find Juniper up near the house, by herself with her baby's toes and nose protruding. Perfectly positioned, and the first little lamb was born in about five minutes. I wish they were all that easy. Between us we cleaned him up and dipped his umbilicus, just in time for the arrival of the Aunties to check on the new arrival.  We put Juniper and her bub into a pen for some bonding time and before too long the second little boy was born, just as easily as the first. In keeping with Juniper's "gin related" name, welcome to the world, Tom Collins and Martini.

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