2836 had a ewe lamb. It got a bit stuck when its head tried to come out before its front feet (it should look like someone diving into a pool). This birth was a double bonus as it gave me a chance to foster one of the triplet boys onto a mother with a spare teat. It's a simple technique: rub foster lamb in the afterbirth so it smells like its sibling (don't let ewe see this), then stand back, let ewe stand up and check out the delivery. So far the ewe has been happy to accept both her lamb and the interloper.
But nothing goes that smoothly. Just after the successful fostering, I checked the teats to clear any blockages. No milk. Nothing. I hoped milk production was just running a bit behind schedule. I had to give the new lamb replacement colostrum, then it was Grumpy's turn to provide. I put her in the stocks. She wrenched them out of the ground, finding strength in adrenaline and pure spite. So I banged them in deeper. Eventually I milked enough to sate both lambs now on Ewe 2836, and a few hours later her own milk started to flow.
While all this was going on, Eunice popped out two ewe lambs by herself, and she's a first timer -
Minutes old and still pretty gooey
So our fox-deterrent maternity unit is taking shape -
Mums and babies are recuperating -
I've been cutting kale and turnips from Mike's pheasant cover crop, which the ewes love and helps them produce more milk. At the moment they're all safe and warm enough in these pens but the weather's turning colder this weekend. Cold and dry is do-able. Cold and wet is a disaster, a lamb-killer. We may have to move our maternity unit to the horse stables at Milkweed field, after our shoot day tomorrow. We'll see what the forecast says.