According to my records, my Romney-Corriedale/Lincoln ewe, Mango, should be next to lamb. She does not look as bloated and uncomfortable as many of the other ewes and as I pulled her out of the flock, doubts crowded my mind. But if you’re not going to trust the records, what’s the point? I scolded myself. Perhaps she is carrying only one lamb.
For I am sure the records are correct. Though most of the flock rushed outside, bleating, for their breakfast yesterday, Mango did not protest when I kept her in with Smoky and her lambs. She spent the day eating hay thoughtfully and adjusting her position with grunts. She also came over to me and stood patiently while I picked out the strands of hay that were stuck in her neck wool and fanning out in an aureole around her face. Mango is a placid ewe but she not normally so friendly. I think it must be birthing hormones kicking in. She even stood still while I trimmed away the woolly topknot that was falling in her eyes.
In the afternoon I tricked her into putting her head into the sheep stanchion for a snack of grain. After bolting her in, I spent twenty minutes sawing off wads of dirty wool to expose her udder. Though she was not enthusiastic, Mango was not upset either. She stood eating hay while I cut off a pound of filthy black wool tags.
“Isn’t it a nice change to do this before you are covered with blood and amniotic fluid?” I asked her.
She munched hay.
Meanwhile Smoky’s lambs have been ear-tagged, their tails docked, and the little ram lamb castrated. They have moved out of the jug into the wider world of the nursery half of the big sheep stall.
In this larger stall they learn to avoid the other ewes and to seek the safety of the lamb creep.
However, when life is quiet Mom is always the best seat in the house.