The Home of Beautiful Bluefaced Leicesters and Shetland Sheep

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Clueless in Potosi

I checked my BFL ewe Cassie at 5PM and she was just lying there! By 8 PM, she and her 2 babies were walking around with the rest of the flock. It always strikes me funny when you look down at the lambs and there's one you haven't seen before with a wet navel cord hanging down and slightly wet. I popped Cassie and company in a lambing pen, checked for milk, dipped navels and went in saying to Bill, "Cassie had those babies early so I can sleep all night". When I checked the little family at 11 it was apparent that the lambs had not nursed. They were crying and wandering around clueless about nursing. Oh no... the curse of the stupid baby! I have not had one of those in 15 years. There goes sleep.

These babies had no idea where milk came from or what to suck on. The little ewe had her little jaw so tightly clamped shut that I couldn't even get my finger in to squirt some of mom's milk. I don't usually work with lambs to get them to nurse figuring if mom has milk that will come naturally but these 2 were in need of nursing 101 badly. I got lamb A attached and he sucked but couldn't find the teat again on his own. He was full so I tried working with the ewe. She wouldn't open her mouth. I milked mom and gave the ewe 3 ounces. She knew how to suck so I went to bed figuring they were full and by morning they'd both be nursing. Nope, by morning they were crying and empty. Nursing 102 went better with the wee man. He got the idea and reattached on his own. YES! But little girl was still clueless, wandering aimlessly under mom. I filled her up again with mom's milk and went in for coffee. Now 12 hours old, little girl has finally figured out that there is a wonderful creamy reward for sucking on a teat. And she can find it on her own now. But in the meantime crawling around trying to get them to nurse has cost me my favorite pen knife and I will be out there with a magnet looking for it this afternoon.


Becky Utecht said...

"The curse of the stupid baby", that's it! I'm glad it has a name. It's a good thing it doesn't last too long -- 12 hours is long enough! Congrats on the lambs and I hope you find that pen knife.

malamalama said...

Great posts. They'd make a super read if you ever decide to put them into a book.
Only one set of "stupid babies" in 15 years is a track record - one more entry on my list of reasons whi BFLs are so super!