Wednesday, March 2, 2011
We're ready. The shearers came Monday, which was one of the most awful days, weather-wise, we've seen in a while. (Monsoon like rains and the temperature dropped about 30 degrees between morning and when the shearers left.) The shearers were due at 8 am and finally got here around 2:45 pm, through no fault of their own. The weather had put them way behind schedule. At that point the ewes had been in the barn with no feed for almost 24 hours. (You don't want to feed them before shearing because it makes them all the more uncomfortable.) Honestly, I was almost afraid to go in there. I thought they might riot! In the end, it all went smoothly and eventually they all got some extra grain and hay and extra deep bedding to keep them comfy and cozy through the night. Needless to say, they were happy to go outside for some sunshine this morning, as was someone else.
I spent about 8 hours working in the barn on Sunday. I stripped out old bedding, set up and bedded the lambing pens and got all my supplies gathered. According to my records, the first lambs are due on Thursday (give or take a day or two). I never quite believe it's actually going to happen until the first lambs arrive.
**Here's a list of supplies that I like to have on hand: surgical gloves and lubricant, sharp scissors, betadine (for dipping navels), plenty of old towels, stomach tube, colostrum replacement mix, powdered milk replacer, Pritchard teat nipples, bottles and Nutri-drench. I may not use any of the colostrum replacement and the powdered milk replacer, but because of my history of having so many triplets the last several years, I feel better having the supplies on hand. The colostrum mix can be frozen and when the time comes, the milk replacer can be sprinkled on top of the lamb's creep feed as an enticement and it's good for them. Nutri-drench is just a good product to keep around all the time. It's great to give to any lamb or adult who has been stressed in any way. I have elastrator bands and ear tags ready to apply when the lambs are a few days old. So, there you have it. I'm standing by, just waiting for the ewes to do their part.