Sunday, February 27, 2011
Friday afternoon, Ewe #26 delivered twins, a ram and ewe. All went smoothly and they were released from their pen today to live with the big group of mothers and lambs.
Saturday afternoon, #4, a Piglet daughter, had triplets which is unusual for the first pregnancy. #4 is a huge, deep bodied ewe and when you look into her eyes it's like looking into the eyes of an elephant. She has excellent milk production and mothering capabilities like her mother (#133) and aunt (#134). However, this was a challenging first time delivery with lambs 2 & 3 breech. This ewe was so good to her lambs constantly talking to them as I milked her with my handpump. We tube each new born lamb with 6 oz. of colostrum to warm them up and help start the milk flowing.
After everyone was fed, S. returned to the house to start dinner. J., our son, was out in front of the barn working on his trailer. As I was tubing the last of the three triplets, I noticed the lamb that was born the day before was watching the Rooster just outside the pen. Turns out the Rooster was watching him too, and before you know it all calamity breaks loose. Somehow the lamb stepped up into the tray feeder and the Rooster is aggressively attacking the lamb trying to spur him with his claws! I start yelling, "j.,J.,J.!!!" who hears nothing. I can hardly move with this newborn lamb on my lap with a full tube of milk draining into his tummy. The lamb under attack now has his wedged between a loose board from the feeder and the railing. So I pinch the tube and pull it out dumping milk all over. By this time, the Rooster has now entered the pen and the mother is circling him trying to protect her lambs. I'm still yelling for J. with no response. I climb out of one pen and into the next to get the Rooster who flies out. I lift the board off the lambs neck and return him gently to his mother.
Now mind you, it's hard for me to put any animal down but at this point the Rooster was asking for it and it was "NOT his lucky day". I took a few steps toward him sitting on the feeder and caught his back leg as he was flying off. He's flapping his wings hanging upside down and I attempted to ring him by the neck but I have no experience with this. I gave him a good smack and a spin like a State Fair ride and let him fly. Needless to say in 15 minutes, he was hiding behind the chicken pen. I believe that was his 5th offense attacking another animal. I'm not sure he has too many chances left. Free Rooster, any takers?