Mismothering

First, I will start with the good news:

A year ago, we had a fiasco where several sheep tested as positive or as exposed to CL: Caseous Lymphadenitis.  We were never able to determine the source of the disease, but several good sheep went for meat in our effort to eradicate CL in our flock.

Last week, we received our test results back for CL, Ovine Progressive Pneumonia and Johnes (which is kind of like Tuberculosis in humans but not zoonotic).  We are clear of all diseases!  We have one ewe who came up as “suspect” for CL, (neither negative nor positive) so we are watching her with a gimlet eye.  That said, I think we are in the clear, so I am now willing to consider selling rams for crossing purposes.  So let me know if you would like one!

So, mismothering:  On 3/31, ewe 1627 went into labor.  Many ewes chase existing lambs thinking they’ve given birth, but 1627 somehow managed to convince one of 1606’s lambs that he was in fact hers.  So when her real lamb was born, she had milk for one but a huge, hungry single to feed.   1627’s real lamb was hypothermic on Monday morning, and we’ve been trying to energize him ever since.  He seems to brighten, only to stop eating and weaken again.  I admit I am finding him rather frustrating!   So we will end up raising him, even though his mother was willing to try, because she won’t give up her stolen lamb and there is only milk for one in her udder.