Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Good Things Come...

...to those who wait.

Sometimes in abundance!

After what seems like a spate of terrible luck, we here at Maggie's Farm can report that the lambs have landed. And they are supercute!

Leela produced a darling little ewe lamb, Emily. She will be horned and, if she's anything like her mama, a really fleecy girl. She is sired by Dodge and this has made her a bit friendlier than Leela's previous lambs. A nice thing in a ewe, for sure.

Then, not long after, Copper, our 9 year old matriarch, who has without fail produced white twins or singles every year of her life, gave us two colorful babes-- Ewok is black, with slight flashing, and Elba is a beautiful moorit. How about that! I couldn't believe it when I saw Ewok's long black leg come easing out the birth canal. Anxious after poor Henny Penny's disastrous lambing, I cut my nails down to nothing and made sure the rest of the lamb was positioned correctly. He was, and I eased him out.

Copper's other lamb, however, was breach. Thankfully, Dan noticed the upward pointing rear hoof while I was still oogling the little ram lamb. Sure enough, further invesigation indicated that the baby was breach. And that the other leg was jammed in the birth canal at the hock. I had a moment of panic (Not an easy thing for a shepherd to admit, but I was flashing on Henny Penny's dead breach lambs) but then, with some moral support from Dan, I managed to grab that little hock in one hand, the back leg in the other and quickly pull the lamb out. What's most amazing here is that IT WORKED. The little ewe did not take her first breath inside Copper's belly and drown, she sneezed and coughed and stood up just fine. Whew! What a happy moment!

Yesterday, Daisy had herself a little ewe lamb unassistend and the little girl looks and acts just like her mama and grandmama-- all coppery fleece serious lungs! Funny how some sheep families are more talkative than others, just like human families.

So that's it for lambs this year. And let me tell you, it feels like enough!

We will be dispersing the flock as the summer progresses. It is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time. I will miss the sheep but I will not miss worrying about them or trying to scrape a little time out of our busy schedule to try to get the MUST DO chores done while the kids, the paying jobs, the friends, the novel are left wanting.

We will certainly return to shepherding someday (Dan likes to joke that this is our "retirement plan!) and we will continue with the turkeys and chickens and whatever else happens our way (Things, it seems, are always happening our way) but we just can't do farming well with so many other commitments. And farming is not something one can-- or should-- do halfway.


Alicia Gregoire said...

This is great news! Hooray!

merefolk said...

I love your blog, what a wonderful life you have chosen, and made for yourselves! Thank you for sharing it. Very inspirational.

Christy said...

I'm glad lambing finished up well. I'm sorry you'll be getting rid of all the sheep. It is a lot of work though.

Robin said...

I'm glad that it all turned out well.

Oh well, it will be less work for you when you get rid of them so it will be nice for you. When things get less crazy then you can go back to having them and feel happy about it and not stressed.

Chai Chai said...

Hopefully the dogs are taking advantage of this time with the sheep, they will probably miss them as much as you will.

P said...

Thanks so much everyone for your comments and well-wishes.

I really appreciate it!

And yes, Maggie will be pretty miserable without her fleecy changes. Then, I'm sure tennis balls will become really interesting again.