On Friday, some of the last ewes gave birth to their lambs. Colene spent a busy day in the Small Animal Barn taking care of the six babies born. In the mid-afternoon another lamb was born.
The mama had been in labor for a little while. It’s interesting to watch the ewes in labor. They seem not at all concerned for much of it, but every once in a while they will start turning in circles, pawing at the ground, licking their lips, blahing, and laying down and standing up.
The baby lamb, the second of twins, had been protruding a bit from the mother’s rear–you could just see its hoof sticking out. The ewe was intermittently doing her labor dance. For fifteen minutes or so it seemed like the baby would come any second, but then mom would get up again and relax a little.
Finally, though, it was easy to see her contractions come very quickly. She laid down, and stood up, and out came the baby hoof first, quickly followed by nose and body: quite a large lamb covered in amniotic fluid.
In the first moment after the lamb drops, it’s hard to not want to rush over and clean its nose from the fluid. But, sure enough, in what seemed like a very long time, though only a few seconds, the lamb started to bleat, and its mother came over to lick it clean.