Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Quick Update

I just wanted to post a very quick, short update on Ailee and her lambs.

For those new to this year's lambing, Ailee (one of our ewes and fleece producer par excellence), could not deliver her lambs normally and was rushed into the vet's office a week ago for an emergency c-section delivery of two beautiful ewe lambs.
Due to the drugs and stress she had undergone, Ailee was taking care and nursing only one of the lambs. I had taken over and was bottle feeding the other girl as Ailee kept pushing her away. I named her "Sugar", for the sweet little girl she is.
I had been feeding Sugar until about three days ago. It seemed when I showed up with the bottle, Sugar was more intent on just wanting to be with me as well as sucking on the seams of my jeans. I had a sneaking suspicion as to why but it wasn't confirmed until today.
Ailee has indeed taken over mothering Sugar as well as continuing on with her other daughter's care! It seems all she needed was some time and space as well as a round of pain meds and care. Today we saw Ailee actually nursing both girls at the same time, one on each side.
I feel relieved. Sugar is getting the care she needs from her own mother. I don't mind being a substitute, but this wee lassie needs to grow up with sheep and learn all things "sheepy". While part of me would have loved to bring her in the house (diapers, please) and have a "house lamb", I know, deep in my heart, that our house is not where she's meant to be. That said, she still stays very close to me when she's out in the pasture. Or she'll run with her sister and the other lambs...but as soon as she's tired she's right at my side...still my shadow.
Thank you all for your kind words, suggestions, and encouragement as we have dealt with this situation. It has not only helped me, but also Ailee. I see her getting stronger each day and more of the mother ewe I know she can be.
The only sad thing is that Ailee will have to find a spinner's flock to live in instead of a breeder's flock. And these two beautiful ewe lambs will be her last babies.


nursedragon said...

Oh, frabjous day! Calloo, callay! This is indeed excellent news! I'm delighted to hear that Ailee firing on all thrusters as a mama. Good for her...and good for you for being such a good shepherdess!

Sharon Campbell said...

I can't begin in imagine how difficult these decisions are. I am always grateful to you shepherds.

Tammy said...

Wonderful news and bless Ailee's heart. What she has been through would put a mere 'mortal' sheep off her babies completely. That Shetland mothering instinct is so strong at times. I'm so happy for Sugar and for you.

klefevre said...

Thanks, All...for the supportive comments. Lois Moore stopped by yesterday and, hearing the tale of Ailee and her lambs, made a comment that Tammy touched on. Were it one of the more "modern" breeds of sheep, the outcome would be very different indeed. Kudos to the Shetland breed for being the tough little sheep with strong mothering instincts that they are. Other sheep would have just given up.
From the attack that the boys survived to this intense mothering instinct kicking in, time and time again these Shetlands have shown they really are made of the "Right Stuff".

Leigh said...

Whew. We're all relieved!

Robin said...

Oh, good. I'm glad that it all worked out.