Friday, May 02, 2008

Ailee's Surprise! -or- Boy! Am I Ever Glad We're Done!

I went out to feed this morning a bit on the late side. It was a little after 8 a.m. with a definite chill in the air. I fed the wethers, Skit and the older ewes with their brood, turning them out into the pasture for some exercise as well. I was just taking Loretta a bit of hay to shut her up as she was hollering at me all the while I was feeding the other sheep. I dropped it off in her pen then turned to check Ailee and Blessa.
It was then I noticed a dark brown pile in the pen where Ailee and Blessa were for the night. Blessa was standing there just looking at it with eyes as big as saucers. Then, it moved! It sunk in - Ailee had lambed sometime during the wee hours of the early morning!
What shocked me was not that she had lambed, but that she had shown no outward signs of even being in labor yesterday or last evening when I checked on them. Nothing. Her lamb hadn't even dropped much, no super-swelling of her udder, no pacing or not eating, no digging to China to make a nest - nothing. If I had seen any sign at all, even an inkling, I would have jugged her straight away. Maybe I should change her name to Sneaky Pete.
Here is Ailee with her baby BOY. Yes, you saw correctly - a ram lamb. This season we have had a 100% ram lamb year!
At first I was very disappointed in the ram lambs...but then I started thinking...each one of them shows promise of being herd-sires. They all have good conformation, have rich coloring, two have spots with the others carrying spotting genetics. Can a shepherd really be bummed about having quality rams? After all, the ram is 50% of the genetic material of a flock. So what's wrong with breeding quality rams for other flocks? Not a darned thing! :)
"Hey, Ma! Lay down so I can stand on you and see over this thing to look at my brother/cousin! Come on, Ma! I need help!" Poor Loretta...

At the end of this lambing season, even will 100% ram lambs, I am proud. Any shepherd would be to breed quality rams who should go on to be flock sires themselves. I think all the ewes and Skittles deserve a "Well done"! And maybe next season will be a ewe season...
One can only hope... :)
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10 comments:

Garrett808 said...

OH Kathy Congrats on healthy lambs! And at least you are staying positive with the ram lambs.....Its better than being bummed :)

There is ALWAYS next year!

Val said...

Oh well better luck with ewes next year and as you say the rams are all from GOOD breeding stock and will make good sires of their own flocks in the future

Franna said...

Oh My. Look at it this way, you're building up probability "credits" for ewes.

Yeah, right ;-)
- Franna

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh dear. I tried to call you yesterday, wondering if you had any lamb news - and I guess at that point you didn't! I can't believe your odds....

nursedragon said...

Maybe your latest arrival should be dubbed "Radar", as in "flying-in-under-the"! Now I know why I didn't get an obstetrical call in the middle of the night (that sneaky Ailee) - better luck next year for that. Her contribution this year gives you an even half-dozen Skittle mini-me's - all healthy, handsome and lively! At least I'll have a chance to fondle some uber-cute lammies for a while. :)

Leigh said...

Shouldn't you get a prize for setting some sort of record?

Kathy said...

We had to call a vet in last night. Ailee has retained the placenta, so she's on antibiotics and oxytocin to aid in its expulsion. I have even tied a lightweight ring to it to give gentle, steady traction to aid her in ridding herself of it. :( From what I've read, this could go on for 10 days. Oi!

Kathy said...

Thank God for Draxxin is all I can say! (Mega-antibiotic! It got her eating again!)

Tammy said...

Kathy,
All I can say is--dang! Your positive attitude about it is wonderful though, as I know that each time you checked and found another rammie it had to be difficult. I hope Ailee quickly recovers. I tell you, I didn't realize there was so many things that could go wrong til I've read lambing blogs this year. I'm just glad its over here, and hope that they all survive til adulthood!
Tammy

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

Oh Kathy, you crack me up! I'd have threatened the whole flock with repeated suggestions of lamb chops and pot roasts! I'm so sorry you had the ram fairy stuck at your house. Maybe a few people will trade a nice ram lamb for a ewe lamb down there!