Farm Day & Another Lamb Graft

Last Saturday was a Farm Day. Some of the Farm Club members have been coming during the last month to help with all the barn chores during lambing, but this was the “official” Farm Day.IMG_0097We caught all the lambs to check for number of horns and split eyelids (a trait that is sometimes seen in 4-horn lambs). IMG_0101This was also a good time to check the paperwork and make sure that I had recorded the gender and sires correctly.IMG_0093My neighbor who recently purchased sheep was here also to get some hands-on experience. He told me that a recently purchased goat had kidded that morning and he wasn’t sure the kid had nursed.IMG_0102I went to his place at lunchtime to check on the kid and while he held the doe (very skittish) I got the kid nursing.IMG_0106Back at our place, we finished moving sheep around. I moved “Ginny’s flock” of wethers and she was so hot when she was finished that she found the only accessible mud puddle to sit in.IMG_0105Last in the afternoon we decided to try grafting a lamb onto a ewe whose lamb had been killed the day before. I had debated it that day and at the time didn’t want to deal with it. But I had some new twins and though it was worth a try. This method of grafting is not as pleasant or as satisfying as “slime” grafting where you just cover the adopted baby in the birth fluids so that the mom will think the lamb is hers. With this method there is a dead lamb and you need to use it’s skin to cover the adoptive lamb to trick the mom into thinking it’s hers. That photo above is the lamb in the skin before I cut it to fit better. Bea, the young ewe, was unsure. The scent of her lamb was there but the sound wasn’t right. The lamb didn’t want to nurse at first and when it did Bea wasn’t happy about it.IMG_0109This photo is blurry because I must have smeared my iPhone lens while working with the lamb. When Bea finally lay down while trying to avoid me attaching the lamb to her teat I was able to get the lamb to nurse on the engorged udder. For a day or two I needed to halter her or just stand there.Bea and adopted lambAt this point Bea has completely claimed the lamb as her own. (The dead lamb’s skin is gone in this photo–I took it off the next morning.)IMG_0172We were impatiently waiting for Jazz to lamb. I was sure that she would have triplets because she was so huge. She surprised me with twins the day after Farm Day. They are 9.6 and 12 pounds. At that size it’s good there were only two of them.

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