It was 3F out this morning when I took a look at the barn video system. 1610’s lambs were snuggled in the hay, and I could see Agnes II bouncing around. Scanning to the Northwestern corner of the barn, I saw one lamb standing and another little white blob near, with Meadowlark attending the standing lamb. New lambs! Even with the lowish-resolution barn cam, it’s not hard to pick out the only CormoX ewe in the flock.
I raced out the door towel-in-hand to find two very fresh, new lambs, a ram and a ewe. The ram was up and ready to get going. He seemed to have attracted most of mom’s attention. I started drying the ewe a bit, and then I put together a lambing jug. We had a lot of “helpers”, mainly the very curious BFL ewe lambs, so I was keen to give Lark and her babies some privacy.
Once the lambs and the ewe were in the pen, I noticed that the ewe still hadn’t gotten up on her own. The main issue with being born in extreme cold is that the lamb uses up its energy just trying to keep warm while it waits for Mom to dry it off. When it’s time to stand up, find the teat and learn to nurse, it is out of oomph and risks hypothermia. With Meadowlark still intent on her son, I milked off some of her colostrum. I grabbed the ewe and went indoors. The ewe lamb wasn’t really protesting like an energetic lamb would, so I felt more justified in my decision. My only nagging concern was whether or not Lark would want her back. But in we went, and soon the little lamb was warming by the fire.
The little ewe had ice on the fur of her legs, and her little ears were like ice cubes. I rewarmed the colostrum. As soon as the lamb started to become active again, we fed her with a bottle. The bloom of new life overtook her and her lethargy vanished- baa’s started to erupt as she beat her little legs around trying to stand on our hardwood floors. Once her little legs, back and tummy were all dry, we brought her back to Mom. To my delight, Lark was happy to see her. The lamb started searching for Lark’s udder, and we knew we had succeeded.
About an hour later, we grabbed the boy and melted his wool, too. Even though he had fed well, he was struggling against the cold. Half as much time was all he needed.
Now that everyone is dry and fed, I can finally finish my coffee.