Well, our Mary finally had her lambs yesterday afternoon. Pictures are included below.
I have to say it was so fascinating watching the lambing process and here is why. We have raised goats for years. This is only our third year in the sheep business. We love raising sheep however as they are quite regal and gentle. We have not been there until yesterday to watch the entire birthing process.
As sheep are quite private, they tend to wait until they are alone and the barn is quiet to deliver their babies. So, it is not uncommon to not be present when an ewe has her lambs.
Yesterday, she let me watch the whole thing. And, there are significant differences between goats having their babies and sheep having theres.
The most startling difference is the time it takes from when the amniotic sac comes out and when the baby presents itself. For goats this period of time is about 20 minutes. For our ewe it was more like 45 minutes. Then, the time between the babies being born was much longer as well. That was more like one hour versus 5 minutes. Last, while goats paw the ground and then lay down and cry out, pushing in the final stages, sheep tend to stay very quiet and are up way more often. They are on the ground pushing very little. They are up standing when the baby finally drops. It is all quite fascinating really.
These are obviously important things to know for new homesteaders as you deal with assisting in your own livestock’s birth. If one of my goats would have taken that long I would have had to go in and assist.
Other things that were so interesting yesterday during the birthing process was how much the other animals knew a new baby/babies were coming into the barn. When Mary would start talking, the whole barn would start talking back. And, I do not just mean the other ewes. I am talking the horses, the goats and the other sheep. All would talk back to Mary when she would talk. The other ewes in the birthing pen would also come and assist Mary, sniffing on her, and sniffing on her baby/babies. They even helped her clean her little ones up as if they were there on call for her. They knew EXACTLY what was going on.
An amazing story really – our little blind preme lamb was heading into Mary’s hind side not seeing but smelling. Snowflake, “Little Man’s” mom, bumped him out of the way so as not to get in the middle of Mary’s delivery. Now how interesting is that?
Well, here we go with the cute pictures of Mary and her two new lambs and also the goings on in the barn with all the other livestock while engaged in this communal birthing process!
Well, that pretty much captures the coolness of the barn family when new ones are brought into this world. the communal nature of the birthing process in our barn is quite a treat to observe. We are blessed that all our animals get to be together across species in different stalls. Since it is all open they get to really have amazing relationships with the other farm critters. It was absolutely noticable yesterday during the entire lambing process that every single critter in the barn, irrespective of species, was aware and engaged in the birthing process. Fascinating!
God Bless! L. Davis