Monday, April 28, 2008

Loretta's Contribution -or- Darn it! Not Another One!

When I got up Saturday morning, I immediately went to: 1. Turn the coffee pot "on"...and b. Checked the monitor in the office running "Sheep-O-Vision". Loretta had been acting suspicious on Friday and I had wondered if she had progressed along. Well, at first I thought it was something wrong with the camera in that part of the barn, but I saw what appeared to be the beginning of something working its way out of Loretta's posterior. To the tune of "There's mucous! (Only another shepherd or person living with one would understand the excitement those words bring to a shepherd's heart) She's in labor!" I ran back to the bedroom to get dressed. I barely had time to tell my DH I was headed to the barn when I heard, "Don't forget your phone." from my beloved spouse.
Loretta's labor progressed very fast, even for a first-timer. I checked on her then went about my business feeding the other sheep and making sure the others weren't around to bother the expectant mom. After feeding, I went back in and spied two big feet where feet aren't usually found on a sheep...but no membrane! No fluids! Oi!
Loretta was up and down. She was in the throes of deep, painful contractions without making any headway in getting this "pod-being" out of her body. By that time I noticed a nose and mouth with a big tongue hanging out of it. The tongue was pink, but if things didn't progress along it wouldn't be pink for long.
By that time my Dh had arrived to help anyway he could. I donned gloves. Enough time had passed and Loretta was getting weaker with each contraction. The nose was even starting to move back inside! I had forgotten how slippery these little guys can be, so I asked Hishonor to hand me a towel so I could get a good purchase on the front legs. With the next contraction, I pulled while Loretta pushed and out he came! Yes, damn it! Another HE!!!!

Above is a picture of the unnamed ram lamb Loretta presented to us. (I repeat..."Damn it!") He had a bit of a problem finding the right spigots on Mama, the problem being that he had such tall legs. Soon he had his first meal and Loeretta continued cleaning him up.

He has the Skittles Stamp, a krunet marking, on the top of his head. And Loretta is a fierce protector of him. Her sister came close to inspect this new wind-up toy that her big sister had and Loretta tried to bash away all relations in protection of her new son.
We are almost finished lambing here for this year. But I may have to start thinking of another ram. Since we've had my friend, Skittles, out of ten lambs so far, only one was a ewe lamb. The rest have been carbon copies of their sire. It's like Skittles has created his own army of Mini-Me's running around. My talks with him have fallen on deaf ears. He's out to create an army of rams under his control. So far, it seems to be working.

Darn it, Skit! I hope you remembered where you put your suitcase as you may be leaving...or at the very least you may have a roommate - with horns as impressive as yours! Got the word now?

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Nancy K. said...

Hey! Don't blame the RAM!! Skit gave me lots of lovely girls when I had him. As well as some very nice sons....

What can I say? It's an 'odds' game!


Nancy ~ who may skip lambing next year because I'm having a girl year and I know what that means for nest year...

Kathy said...

If it weren't for the male carrying the determining factor in all of this, I wouldn't have said anything to him. :)

I think he just wants an army of Mini-Me Skittles running around! LOL!

Val said...

As I said before like all males he doesn't or didn't listen

Kathy said...

Amen, Val! :)

Tammy said...

Hey Kathy,
Congrats on getting him safely born. So sorry that your 'ram year' seems to have drug out for two years now. One thing about it--Skittles IS consistent. :-) Sorry, I do feel your pain. I've come to dread singles too--they usually are so large. Myself and a neighboring shetland breeder had several singles out of first time moms, and they really had to struggle with the to get them born. Anyway... Do you just have one more ewe to go? Maybe ewe triplets?? ;-)

Franna said...

Oy! Rams, rams, rams. Ah, but they're cute ... for now. ;-)
- Franna

Mim said...

I have too many sheep so I appreciate rams. They are easier to part with, I keep all the ewes!

shepherdchik said...

Poor skittles...maybe you need to change his diet? I've heard of humans trying to manipulate the dad's diet in order to procure the desired sex in the offspring. I wonder if it works with sheep? Does he have enough for a matched team yet? Maybe you could teach them to pull a cart...for parades? I had 4 ram years in a row and then finally got a 'ewe year' again. Boy those ewe years can be few and far between. You'll have to go buy some of nancy's extra ewe lambs.

Leigh said...

So much for the law of probability it would seem!

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

I have been thinking of maybe getting a shetland ram, or loaning one of my ewes to Mim for breeding. It would be fun to see what a 'tunisland' would look like. And ohhh the fiber!
Are you planning on increasing your flock? Is that why you want ewe lambs? You might be able to trade a couple of those rams for ewes, or the freezer is where my extras are going. Actually, I have had shetland at Mim's, it was rather tasty!