Wednesday, April 9, 2008

You save some

And you lose some. We were quite hopeful about the little bucks that we brought into the house yesterday. They were eating well, and the little white one had even started walking. But sometime between the 3 a.m. feeding and sunrise, he died. The buckskin is still alive, but he is not very strong. None of these kids weighed even two pounds, and just like human babies, low birth weight is a tough handicap to overcome. But at least we know we've tried. I'm glad we brought them into the house. When milking their mother, we get very little milk, so even if she had been willing to let the boys nurse, they wouldn't have been getting enough. The tiny udder, low production, and lack of mothering instincts makes me think something is wrong with mom hormonally, but what?

2 comments:

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

I'm so sorry you lost the little white buck. You did all you could. Is mom a first-timer? If so, she doesn't sound like a likely prospect to breed again. Maybe one more chance?

You don't talk much on your blog about your Shetland sheep, which is how I found your blog in the first place. Are you expecting lambs, or do you just have a spinner's flock?

Deborah said...

A couple posts back, I mentioned finding a dead lamb in the pasture. I do normally breed the sheep yearly, but I decided to skip this year because of grad school -- and having such a terrible experience with summer lambing last year. Obviously, I took the rams out of the pasture a bit too late! It doesn't look like anyone else is pregnant, which makes it even sadder that we lost the one little lamb.

At the moment, the sheep have just been driving me crazy getting out of the pasture. They go through electric fencing, and we can't put woven wire where they are because of flooding issues. Shearing is coming up in May, and then we'll be moving them to a new pasture with woven wire on the east side of our property. I'm sure I'll have lots to say about that!

I wish I were expecting lambs this year. :(

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