12.05 this morning I received a text from the neighbor. “triplets” in my sleepiness, it took a minute then I responded with “in the barn?”. Her response: “in the pasture” We had just sheared anyone bagging up, so what was this. We thought she was 3-4 weeks away. Time to drag myself out of bed and up to the barn. Neighbor is a night owl and a shepherd. She usually gets home from her barn in the wee hours of the morning, however, she was early this morning and was taking her garbage out for pick up when she heard a wee little “baa”.
One of our older mothers had preemies and they were at death’s door in the 24 degree weather. She bundled them and took them to the barn from where she texted me. We did not believe the one salvageable and another was a question. The larger male, we thought we could save. They were so cold and rag doll-like that I took the smallest and put inside my coat next to my nightie and just held him there while she dried off the other two and we managed a plan.
We took them first to her house where she has a border collie who has raised several new lambs plus an electric blanket to keep them warm. Shee licked them all over like a mother and then between us we had enough ingredients to come up with an emergency formula for colostrum. The smallest one, was much warmer now but still very floppy. Each was given some milk and then we brought them over to our house where we have more room and wouldn’t be stumbling over the babies. So every hour for the first day, they get fed. (I’m tired). Then the second day, we can start lengthening that out. At 5 this morning, I felt the biggest one would be okay with mom. I took him up to the barn and she was so happy and was taking care of him, but still no milk. So the plan has been that he is large enough to get him formula every 2 hours and the smaller ones are still on an hourly basis. All three are now standing and walking around, and sucking on their own. So though something could still go wrong, we are feeling good about having 2 white boys and one colored ewe alive.
At noon, when I went up to feed the little boy, I saw that the ewe we expected to go first was in labor and only one foot was presented. I immediately texted the neighbor who came over (she has been working with sheep for many years). She came and righted the little one, so she could be born. And the second one slipped right out about 10 minutes later. There are now 3 new ewe lambs and 2 ram lambs. Happy Valentines Day
If I miss a post or two, it is these many feedings taking their toll on my time and energy. (and we are expecting another birth in the next 2-4 days.