Thursday, May 15, 2014

A Little Sheepie

Life Is Amazing

We've been so busy having kid doe kids (yay!) and little lambs everywhere.

Brother and Sister To Mo-Hawk

 Our kid does were all disbudded at the right time and my grand daughter doing it with-out much effort at all. Sheesh! I pretty much freak-out at that chore. I'll do castration or banding anytime over burning horn-buds. The smell sure took care of me wanting BBQ hot dogs for the whole rest of the year. Gags me to think about it. My grand daughter went home and they had BBQ. I've never let my daughters do that one procedure with the horns; I worried about burns if the iron slipped. It has slipped once with me the first time I wore welding gloves. I burned my gloves real good. I get new gloves every year and I covered my eyes as my FFAer did the first one and got a good copper ring perfectly.

Now the sheep are usually a huge surprise.  We wake-up in the morning and there's lambs everywhere. Our Finnsheep have litters. Our older, big, white ewe had five last year and I took a couple and fed them goat milk. Her udder was as large as our goat's but the two little ones were really getting pushed-away and I always have plenty of milk, even after feeding the does.
The goats, I can know for sure when they'll kid. We all know the date the doe was covered and it's a matter of checking the ligaments on both sides of the does spine, close to where the tail begins. It obviously becomes softer and softer.

I know so many people think goats and sheep pretty much fall in the same category of like antelope. There's a huge difference between antelope and goats and sheep. And there's even a wider gap between sheep and goats. Especially, our La Mancha and Finnsheep. I've heard so many times that human babies are born with the full-moon. I'm not sure if its a "wives tale" but I do know all of our animals give birth at a barometer change. The area where we live the barometer changes drastically and I really get frustrated because bingo the goats are ready or there's tiny lambs on the ground.

Here's the point to all descriptions and explanations. A couple of our ewes that were raised on the bottle either don't protect their young ones at first or they panic having lambs. They are so secretive about their labor and a bit as shy as our horses. One seems to get dropped-out in the open or tromped, even if they're in a stall.

My little grand daughters went out to check on our sheep. Our really old ewe seemed to not take this year, but she was wide. I tell my Steve that Adam misnamed the sheep and pigs. Our sheep would eat until they died! They eat like pigs so maybe she was just fat. I saw the date she was covered. Oops! She didn't take the first time,but I didn't watch for her any more; she recycled.  She must have had a very late heat this year.

The girls were out and saw the new lambs. The East Wind just started blowing that morning. They ran to tell their mother. Okay, while enjoying the pastoral scene they saw a little lambs black head nodding in the dirt. My daughter ran into the pen to pick it up and it was hardly visible. It was hurt.
It seemed that it would be impossible to rescue such a tiny lamb in it's shape. It's cord has been severed to close to it's body. She pulled it out a-ways and the she could really tell the cord was off and she pulled what was showing and bleeding and tied it off.  It had been bleeding a lot. I arrived home and she straight-away handed him to me. I did say him. Why are saves males?

It's become automatic to me. Cord tied and blood stopped. I put him in a warm bath and scrubbed his wool gently of the caked dirt and blood with soap. The colostrum from the goats was ready but he was to weak to suck. I used a syringe to feed him and started with just drops. Hours passed and he wanted more by lifting his head and moving his lips. By midnight he was sucking on the syringe, moving his forelegs, and really wagging his tail. His eyes changed dramatically from grey-glazed to big and shiny black. The girls had named him Mo-hawk because his white top or his poll area wool stood-up all fluffy. He loved his face stroked and he was asleep at 1 am.

Morning at 6:00... I hurried in to see him and he heard me coming. His tail was really going. I had become his mamma. The girls were there at almost 7 am and one told me she asked in her prayers that he would live through the night. They asked to see all of him and I picked him up and held his legs so he could touch his bed. Mo-hawk was too weak.

The girls ran off to school and I tried to help him stand. He had movement in all his legs and there wasn't an out-of-place bone inside him anywhere. I saw him urinate for the first time and thought how great it was that he was getting hydrated. The urine was mixed with blood. Oh, heck no!

My Steve was taking me to Santa Barbara, so of course I took him in his little nest. He seemed completely content. It was only two hours and he started to change. His eyes changed first. I ignored it, he seemed so sleepy, his tail stopped wagging; for sure this little lamb was lulled by the car ride.
We stopped and Steve got out and I reached to hold him on my lap. He tried to find me; his head moving all around. It stopped, his pounding heart stopped. I thought I felt a few tiny thumps and he was not there. Gone.

My dear friend said, "Even when they are sick and scrawny and you KNOW they aren't gonna make it, you still give them every chance and it still hurts when they succumb to the overwhelming odds against them. I know you heart hurts every time."

Steve climbed back in the car and I'm so sad. He never knew his sheep mom or his brother or sister. The blood in the urine told me he was tromped and it was amazing he lived almost 24 hours. I feel so blessed to have had a chance to show him lots of love and there, for a short time, the little lamb unexpectedly loved me.