Prior Blog’s posts 5-15-08 to 5-27-08

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2008

Sick again….

So I became sick again with a cold and bad cough on Friday before our 3 day weekend off of work when we were supposed to visit with my grandparents.  As I did not want to make them sick we had a sudden change in plans.  We desperately wanted to get out of town (so to speak) so we headed south- because I-90 was a mess and Tom had never seen Mount St. Helens.  We decided to drive through parts of Lewis county to see how they were faring after the devastating floods of December and still found plenty of damage and work to be done:

Damaged barn

Condemned house (reminded me of New Orleans)

Silted land

Debris covering barbed wire fence

Log jam with a fridge

Destroyed bridge on river bank

Debris in tree about 30 feet above current high river level

Tore apart asphalt and guard rail

Silted yard
Then we proceeded to Mount St. Helens.  28 years later you can still see the mud flow damage and where the side of the mountain blew out, as well as the large crater.  The lava dome is still growing and there’s steam evident.  I realized our trip seemed to be focused on the destructive powers of nature.

Downed trees from the blast still evident

Columbia gorge (showing the effects of the river on bringing down the Cascade Range)

The raging Naches River
Since I am still coughing near constantly I couldn’t work today.  I did get more of my wool roving back from Z-wool fiber mill.  On Friday I received roving from our brown llama Fancy, mioget (golden-brown) roving from our Shetland ewes Wink and Wilma, and dark grey Mohair roving from several years of shearing our Angora goat.  Today I received grey roving from 5 of our Shetland sheep- Suzette, Monette, Darwin, Reuben and Jenny.  It’s pictured below.  I’ll sell some of this and our light brown roving but keep the rest for my own projects.  Next for fiber processing I’ll go through the wool I skirted out, pull out the worst of the contaminated and felted wool and have quilt battings made- hopefully by Gretchen’s Mill.

Posted by Donna at 7:47 PM 0 comments

THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2008

More HST lamb photos (Sorry I can’t resist!)

Katarina photos:

Josefina photos:

Josefina isn’t quite HST (head, sock, tail) because her tail isn’t white.  I would consider them both smirslet, flecket, sokket (in Shetland lingo).  What do you guys think?
Posted by Donna at 8:22 PM 0 comments


Lambing season appears to end with a bang! And getting kids ready for their new homes.

At 3:30 this morning I did my barn check and found Wilma in labor.  Her water had broke and she was pushing hard.  Partly because of my recent bad experiences I went ahead and helped pull the lamb out.  A moorit (brown) ram lamb with impressive horn buds.  I decided to call him Bambam (in my sleep-deprived state).  Then she delivered another brown ram lamb.  This one had meconium but did well.  He seems to have a modified color, and I am hoping he may be mioget.  I named him Barney.  All three are doing quite well.

Then at 7:00 Tom did the barn check and found these little cuteys below.  Mona had produced some wonderful, almost identical ewe lambs.  From the butt view you can tell them have different tail colors, and one has a black spot on her nose.  After thinking about it I decided to call them Josefina and Katarina.  They are also all three doing quite well.

This may be the end of lambing season for us.  Sheila, the last remaining exposed ewe, doesn’t seem to be widening, and her udder is not enlarging at all.  This is disappointing since she had triplets last year, but she is getting older too.  There’s  a chance she impregnated on the second cycle so we’ll see.
As new lambs are being born it’s time to get the goat kids ready to go to their new homes.  Yesterday I started their last round of coccidiosis prevention medication.  Today they were wormed, were given copper injections, had their hooves trimmed, and had their ears tattooed.  You can see them looking at me nervously, if I have any other bad plans for them.  It will be sad to see them go, but they all have very nice new homes to go to.
Posted by Donna at 4:13 PM 4 comments

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2008

Difficult lambing

So today did not go so well.  I knew Suzette was close to lambing since she’s been separating herself from the flock.  So I stayed home today while Tom went to a swap meet and watched her.  I did some gardening in the morning and then at 11:00 noticed she was scratching at the bedding and seemed to be getting closer to laboring.  So I held off of eating breakfast and did barn chores so I could watch her more closely.

Around 11:30 she starting having contractions- they were pretty rare and she wasn’t pushing. Still no water bag so I decided to shear the old thin sheep that I was holding off on until the weather got warm.  Since it was above 90 degrees I figured it was warm enough.  Between each shearing I checked on Suzette- no change.  I consulted Laura Lawson’s book “Managing your Ewe and her Newborn Lamb” and so after 2 hours I did an internal check on Suzette.  Her cervix wasn’t completely dilated, and I couldn’t feel the lamb to check position.  So I waiting another 1/2 hour and check her again- her cervix had dilated more and I could feel a hoof and an ear so I knew the lamb wasn’t breech and Suzette was still making progress.  The bag was still intact so I decided to eat something- it was past 1:00 now.
And then went back to check her.  This time I felt her and the bag broke and meconium came out.  So then I knew we were in trouble.  I found the two front legs and pulled put no head.  So I found the head was upside down from the position it should be in.  I tried several times to reposition it- but no luck.  I ran to make a lamb puller and came back.  I then was able to grab the head, partially reposition it and pull it and the feet.  It was a tight fit but finally I was able to deliver the lamb.  It wasn’t breathing.  I tried to stimulate it and swing it.  No breaths.  I tried to give it mouth to mouth no response.  I tried swinging it more vigorously and then brought it into the feed shed.  I listened with my old stethoscope and found a heart beat so kept trying mouth to mouth.  I cleared the mouth with the suction bulb tried again.  I tried drying and stimulating nothing.  Then I listened again- still a heart beat.  Then I  listened to my arm- same heart beat.  I was hearing my own rapid pulse.  I tried to feel a beat in the chest, in the rectum and umbilical cord-none.  Then I noticed the umbilical cord as really short.  At this point I gave up.
The lamb was a white and black spotted ewe lamb.  She was pretty too but kind of big.  Suzette had problems delivering in the past where we had to pull and the lamb came out dead (although there was no malpositioning last time).  But last year she delivered Comet without assistance.  If she lives I won’t be breeding her again.

My other problem is that one of Lily’s teats is still huge to the point where her twin lamb can’t nurse off of it.  While I was waiting for Suzette I had milked her udder out into a bottle and bottle fed her twins.  They took it avidly and their tummies didn’t seem very full before hand.  I watched them try to nurse off her right side but can’t.
Right after I gave up on Suzette’s lamb Tom came home.  I explained the situation.  I then got the bright idea of taking one of Lily’s lambs, smearing Suzette’s amniotic fluid on it and seeing if she would accept it.  I thought it would help the lamb as it could nurse well, and it would help Suzette have a lamb to take care of, and it would help her deliver the afterbirth.  The plan seemed to work OK- Suzette licked the lamb off and let it nurse.  However Lily keeps crying looking for her lamb, the lamb Huey keeps crying for Lily, and Dewey doesn’t have a twin brother to cuddle up with anymore.  So then I thought I made a mistake and tried to put Huey back.  Lily sniffed it and wouldn’t accept it; Huey tried to nurse but wasn’t allowed to. Suzette seemed mildly upset when I took Huey away.  So I gave up and put Huey back in with Suzette.  I hope it all works out.
Posted by Donna at 6:52 PM 0 comments

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008

LAMBS! (finally!)

Lily finally lambed today but not without drama.  I was up every hour last night because her udder was huge and she was off in the far fence line sniffing the ground.  I had to go to work though, and she still hadn’t gone into labor.  I had a meeting today at lunch so I asked Tom to check on her then.  He found her with an intact bag but looking exhausted like she had pushed for a while.  He called me just before I was going into my meeting so I gave him some general advice and told him where the problems with newborn lambs and ewes book was.  He then called me (during the meeting) on my cell- the lamb had it’s neck and head twisted back.  He was able to correct it despite his large hands with a lot of lubricant, and the lamb came out fine. It was trying to stand up when he had to leave to go back to work- after he moved them into a pen.  When he got home from work Lily had a second almost identical ram lamb, and both lambs are doing fine.  When I came home I nursed out one huge udder, but both lambs have obviously eaten off of the other side. We’re calling them Huey and Dewey- Tom got to name them since he saved their lives.  We already have a Louie- he’s Lily’s half brother.  All is well (except the selfish fact that I wanted a ewe lamb out of Lily).  Now Suzette is acting like she’s in early labor.  Should be another long and sleepless (not sheepless) night.
Posted by Donna at 6:26 PM 2 comments
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