I have spent a few years preparing for this spring: breeding my own line of dairy x Jacob sheep did not turn out how I had hoped. Last year i purchased a full blood EF ram whom I named Tuck due to his monk like bald cap that never fades. His fleece is very fine, and before coming here he was never touched. He discovered he loves attention and is now the attention hog of the flock
I was blessed with mostly rams from him last year. However, Ash produced one high % East Friesian ewe lamb. Black as night, fine boned but lovely. Swift should be an incredible dairy sheep if she is anything like her mother.
So this year I was excited to see her in production. Alas, farming has a way of crushing your dreams. After all the older ladies had lambed and all that was left were the yearlings Dusty and Swift I figured they were a few weeks out being the youngest and therefore last cycle into breeding. Swifts udder was still tiny so I figured any more lambing was a few weeks away.
Imagine my surprise when I walked into the barn one morning and heard they cry of a new born lamb. Swift was just finishing up when I came in for feeding.
A male and female. But tiny. Half the size of the other lambs born. The smallest was standing and trying to nurse but couldn’t latch on.Classic premature baby symptom. I tried repeatedly to get her on a teat but she just didn’t have the oral function to get a proper suction. So inside she came and I fed her from a dropper until she developed the ability to suckle. She was TINY. Her body was the length of my hand, and I could carry her practically in my palm. I took her back to the barn had her mother feed her and it looked like she would take her daughter… until the little lamb developed pneumonia.
I did notice the first night I brought her in she had strange popping sounds coming from her chest, but I made little fuss over it. Then in the morning she was lethargic, feverish, eyes cloudy, breathing heavy…I already lost one new born fit pneumonia this year, not going to loose another. So I gave her a shot of antibiotics and within a few hours she was alert again. Within twelve hours she was running around. Antibiotics are really amazing. Without a doubt she would have died, but with the prick of a needle jet life was restored.
Not confident she was healthy enough stay in the bath unattended when i had to go to work I took her with me and kept her in the car checking on her and giving hey bottles through the day. At night her mom was still sort of accepting of her but each time we took her inside her dam lost interest more and more.
Inside she slept in the bed so we could observe her. She would lay her head on you and pass out. Finally we decided she was our bottle baby.
With that she gets baths when she gets muddy and wears a diaper to prevent accidents. I will never experience a child this easy to diaper ever again. She doesn’t mind me grabbing her tail and sticking it through the diaper. Doesn’t mind anything.
She enjoys cuddles, the fireplace, the dog and the cat. She comes along for car rides and seems to enjoy them, especially if she has a lap to lay in.
Gwen was all of 5# when born. Suspecting her to still be a little sick we took get to the vet at a week old and she already weighed 8.3# good job little girl!
This little lady is incredibly sweet. You’ll be hearing more about Gwendolyn’s adventures, I’m sure