The Home of Beautiful Bluefaced Leicesters and Shetland Sheep

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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Too Cold

Winter in PA is not usually this cold. Sunday morning I found 2 newborn lambs frozen stiff. They were average size and beautiful. They had evidently wandered into a hole behind the gate right after birth in search of Mom's milk or a warm dark spot. I had noticed this hole a week ago and thought I had plugged it up, but I guess not. Altho, I check the barn every 2-3 hours, 12 degrees without milk did them in quickly. Mom was frantic and led me right to them when I fed that morning. Funny thing happened too. I left the lambs with Mom to grieve and after several hours, took both stiff lambs to the gate to get a bag to put them in.( Of course, I got distracted and did not return ASAP.) When I finally did return to get the lambs they were gone. Mom had somehow moved them back to their birthplace and was sleeping with her head on them like they were alive. How did she move them such a distance in such a short period of time? Sheep don't carry their babies like cats do. I left the babies with her til Mom moved away on her own. She is so depressed and I feel so badly that I didn't get them in time. I am mad at myself about the hole too. You can bet it is boarded up now. These freaky things in lambing always make me so mad at myself. Careless shepherding has no excuse.


Somerhill said...

I know, its heartbreaking, especially when the mother comes to you, expecting you to somehow work your two-legged magic and bring them to life.
I had a similar thing happen with a set of twins last year - somehow one of them got under the barn wall and stood up on the other side of it. Thankfully, it was a warm day and she was fine, but still ended up a bottle lamb.

Becky Utecht said...

I am so sorry Kathy. We all try to do the best we can, but we can't control everything. Lambing can bring such joy as well as heartache. I hope the ewe is getting on with her life now and I hope your weather warms up.