April 3, 2011


Lilly was acting very strange last night. Lilly is beautiful, three-year-old ewe who gave birth to "Mr. Speckles" last spring (picture to the left). She is a good mamma, proving lots of nurture to her lamb. She befriends the other sheep who Notag tends to pick on. And she has squishy, puffy cheeks that she likes to have scratched.

Last night we came out on the back deck around 9pm and she was laying with her face in the corner of the pole barn. Then she got up and started scratching the ground and seeming very uncomfortable. She laid back down, face in corner, but only stayed down for a few minutes before getting back up and scratching the ground again. That is the behavior of a ewe going into labor. Problem is that Lilly is only two months pregnant, she has three more to go.

Two years ago Lilly had a miscarriage. It was her first year getting pregnant. She lost the lamb after about six weeks. So last night I thought she was going to miscarry again. We checked on her periodically and each time she was pacing or scratching or laying uncomfortably. At midnight, nothing dramatic had happened so we went to bed. Lilly was still up.

I woke up this morning and my first thought was how Lilly is doing. I got dressed, put on boots (it's really muddy) and headed down, expecting to find a miscarried lamb. But there were no signs of a miscarriage. Lilly was out in the pasture with the other sheep. They all came running when they saw me. As she ate oats I checked her back side and didn't see any blood or anything. The pole barn was clear too. I guess she is OK.

It's hard to say what may have happened. Maybe it was the freezing cold weather we had yesterday that made her act weird. Or the fact that we moved Francis over. Francis had only been with Junior since arriving on the farm. After spending a month with Junior, and hopefully getting pregnant, it was time to put her on the pasture with the other ewes. They seemed to welcome her alright. So maybe Lilly was just unhappy about having another ewe in the pole barn. I remember when I was pregnant that the doctors warned about contractions and signs of false labor. They said not to get worried. I need to apply that theory to Lilly.

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