Ewe 2836 gave birth to a ram lamb and a ewe lamb. It was my first "assist" as the ram lamb's head was blocking the way out. I helped because I could see he was cyanotic, his little blue tongue poking out the side of his mouth and his front feet tucked under his chin. His sister popped out behind a few minutes later, no complications.
The newly named Matilda (Thank you, Hazel!) is doing much better. Eudora eventually rejected her (the smell of the fly strike chemical masked Matilda's smell and Eudora didn't recognise her) but she is adapting to life as an orphan lamb. It's just one more hardship for her to endure. I spent yesterday teaching Matilda to take a bottle. I'm not sure there was much instruction on my part, just perseverance and begging. She's starting to get the hang of it and at 12 midnight last night, for the first time in her life, she finally had a full belly of milk.
I had to wait til she peed so she'd stand still for a photo. Excuse thumbs.Double phew.
Even Ewe 0004 with pneumonia is on the mend. I know this because she was hard to catch this morning, especially as I forgot my sheep bait - a bucket with a few handfuls of barley in it, to lure them in and distract them while I jab, prod, or shear.
And that squab? I let him out of his coop four days later, rested from whatever illness or trauma befell him.
Like the spell of warm weather that's arrived, I'm going to enjoy the respite while it lasts. At dinner recently, I asked my friend Annette how long she's been keeping sheep. "Twenty-seven years", she said. I asked her if she ever had a really bad year. "Oh God yes! Many. But I remember we had one year when everything went to plan, no complications." So, according to her experience, the odds of having a carefree lambing season are in the region of 26 to 1. Against.
I know already this isn't going to be my year, but that just means I have that one to look forward to, someday.