It's a week after their births and I still haven't shared this tale with you. Last Sunday morning when I went to the barn, not only was Mesa's Marimba there to greet me but CoCo was in labor. Since she had triplets last year and since she was so big, I felt certain she was carrying triplets again.
Dear friend Dixie was invited Thursday for Bella's lambing. That call went out late as I was hurrying to get everything set up. Dixie arrived 5 minutes after Calliope was born. We waited another 2 hours but no second lamb arrived. Sunday morning I called Dixie just after 7 AM to let her know another ewe was in labor. She showed up quickly and we WAITED.
Finally, a tiny white ewe lamb arrived. Upon seeing her size I felt quite sure there would be 3 lambs. CoCo cleaned her very well and made all the right mothering noises. Her name is Clarinet, Clara for short. She's a dear little girl. Clara was not in any hurry to nurse. CoCo wasn't too interested in getting her to nurse either. Multiple moms often are more interested in delivering the next lamb than in seeing the present lamb nurses.
|CoCo with triplets L to R Castanet (Nettie), Clarinet (Clara) and Cornet (Cory)|
It must have been an hour and a half before CoCo decided it was time to deliver ewe #2. A larger spotted cocoa colored ewe was delivered this time, Castanet. Her nickname is Nettie. Nettie was more eager to nurse than Clara. Good for her. It didn't diminish my worries about Clara getting a drink.
Now Coco was impatient to get the next lamb out.When she began laboring, I went in the stable to check her. Much to my disappointment the lamb's hind feet were showing.
Lambs, like humans, don't always present like they are supposed to do. Multiple births can complicate birthing positions, too. My "Go To"book is Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep. It says when you are pulling a breech lamb, don't stop pulling until the head is delivered. As soon as the umbilical cord is disturbed, the lamb takes a breath. When it's breech, its head is still inside mama, allowing the lamb to breath birthing fluids into its lungs.
I told Dixie what I was going to do and then I did it. I pulled him out and suctioned his mouth and nose. He was a big white ram lamb, sturdy and hungry. Cornet (Cory) was on his feet very quickly (less than 10 minutes) and eager for a drink. I was glad Dixie was there for the moral support. I hate to pull lambs.