I would like to tell you about my triple star mother for 2020. Her name is Lottie, a white color carrier, two years old and this was going to be her first lambing.
I went into the sheep yard to check for new lambs or mothers in labor about 8:30 p.m. as is my habit during lambing. Sure enough there were two white ewes at the east end of the yard that had just given birth. There were 3 babies, one recessive and two white. My first question was “who belonged to who?”
I knew the recessive ram belonged to Lottie because she carries color and the other ewe only carries white color. But there are still two white lambs that could belong to either dam. So I watched. The smaller of the two little ewes was just sure that the white experienced dam was her mother; the larger ewe lamb was standing next to Lottie. I accepted this division, gathered up the three lambs and 2 dams and got them all in the jugs. As I filled the jugs with hay and water, the experienced ewe gave birth to another lamb. I thought this was great, both dams with healthy, unassisted twins.
I gave everyone their shots, made sure the mothers had milk and no plugs and went to bed.
Next morning, as is my habit during lambing, I went down to the sheep yard to check for new babies or mothers in labor about 5:30 a.m. Nothing was happening in the yard so, as is my habit during lambing, I checked on everyone in the jugs. There was the experienced ewe with her ram lamb, looking fine. But the smaller ewe lamb had managed to travel to the first time mother’s jug. For a newborn lamb, that is quite a feat.
So I picked her up and put her back with the experience ewe and went about my jug check. I heard terrible sounds coming from the area I had just left so I hurried back. That experienced ewe was trying to kill that little ewe lamb. I watched for a minute or two and then tried to interfere. But that ewe was having none of it. She was not going to have that lamb anywhere near her or her precious ram lamb. I picked up the little ewe lamb and put her back with the first timer. That special ewe had no problem with the situation.
Now, this first time mother had accidental triplets. In looking at the sizes of the ewe lambs, I should have known that the bigger of the two belonged to the experienced ewe. But I let the lambs decide. That was a mistake. The first timer saved me. She didn’t mind having that many babies.
She has fed them and cared for them. Even after two months, if you see her, you see all three lambs with her. She is a treasure and deserves her three stars.
Lottie is the adult on the right and her 3 babies are just behind the gate.