June 29, 2011

Morning Surprise

I blame it on the rain. Ever since we started raising sheep and had our first birth in the rain, which resulted in two deaths, we have pushed back breeding later and later in the season with the hopes of lambs being born on the green pasture in the warm sun. And every year, no matter how late we push breeding, the lambs are born in the rain. This year is no exception.

Usually by late June / early July the rain has tapered off and the temperatures are consistently above 70 F. We timed putting Junior with the ladies with the hopes of having 4th of July babies. But this spring has been really wet and cold. Sure, there have been a days with sun and warm temperatures, but those are few and far between. A couple of days ago the rain returned along with temperatures down into the 60's. So naturally, as Jordan and I went about our normal morning feeding, sitting under the big fir tree was Lilly and her lamb.

I'm so proud of Lilly to choose going under the fir tree, where it is always dry even in downpours, to give birth! The birth must have happened in the wee-hours of the morning, but both were looking really good. I hollered to Jordan to go get Daddy (Jeremy had been out of town and arrived home at 1:30am, so he was sleeping in). They came back down together and started to the prep the barn so we could move mom and baby under cover. I was already in the pasture, checking things out (in my work heels of course).

I picked up the lamb and, hunched over so that Lilly could keep her eyes on her baby, walked backwards through the pasture, out of the gate, down the driveway and into the barn. It is a miracle that I didn't trip and send the lamb flying. Once inside Lilly got oats and alfalfa and water. The lamb got a thorough once-over and a trimmed and dipped in iodine umbilical cord. Jordan helped with the lamb and was amazed that iodine actually stains your fingers. Then we decided that we should move Notag into the barn since the rain isn't going to let up and Notag is just days from giving birth too.

By this time Jordan was late for camp and I was late to work. We hopped in the car and took off. When I got to work I realized my shoes were covered in dirt, grass and poop. I got great looks from coworkers in the bathroom as I scrubbed. That's when I noticed two of my fingers were stained orange too.

No comments: