Mr. Fix-It popped in the kitchen on a recent, foggy, soggy morning to say, “Um…we have a situation.”
Actually, what he said was, “Tiberius is out and coming around the field. Can you get dressed–I need you outside.” So I threw jeans and a tee-shirt on over my pink nightgown and hollered for Speedracer to grab my muck boots and charged outside–into the sopping wet grass.
And I do mean sopping. I was wet to the knees from the tall grass within minutes.
I also didn’t see any sign of our big, dumb, ram galloping blindly around the field as he is known to do whenever he’s foolish enough to get out.
Now, I hate to call any animal stupid. I prefer things like “driven by instinct” or “just being how God made them.” But when it comes to Tiberius, there it is. That sheep is a few eggs shy of a dozen, folks. And that’s being generous. He’s big, and beautiful, and throws good lambs on our ewes…but I’ve seen earthworms act more intelligent. (Oh, how I miss our ram, Ozzie!)
Anyway, I didn’t see any sign of him galloping around crashing into things, leaping clover patches, and falling into ditches. I just saw one, lone, crying, lamb looking lost and confused and headed in the wrong direction. Mr. Fix-It hopped on the tractor and headed out to cut off the long-way-around-side and I hustled through the backyard and cut off the short side.
I turned him around and Mr. Fix-It and I converged on the little guy…
He squeezed back under the gate he’d come out of and everything was fine. Mr. Fix-It added a little extra security (we’re still not sure how Tiberius managed to get his 220 lbs of brawn-not-brains out and then back in again) while I looked everyone over.
And what did I see?
A ewe, off by herself in the field…
It turns out that we thought we were done lambing and we weren’t!
We had one Clun ewe that was sick and struggled badly with worms over the summer. She barely put any weight on over the winter and we were just glad she survived. We assumed that with the high doses of medicine over the summer she either would not breed or would lose the lambs early. Her lack of size seemed to confirm that she wasn’t carrying lambs.
She started putting on weight like everyone else when the fresh grass started coming in and we thought she had finally made a turn for the better.
Turns out, all this time she was carrying twins!!
They are very small. We’re worried about whether they are going to be completely healthy, or if the medicine from last summer will have affected them. But so far they are ok and their momma seems to be handling everything fine.
I pray that they’ll both grow up normal, but I’m very happy that she seems like she’s going to make a full recovery. She’s a very valuable ewe and we’ve been worried about her most of the winter. We had even added extra feed pans to the winter field to reduce the pushing and shoving at feeding time to make sure she could get her share. (We don’t like to completely separate an animal from the flock if not absolutely necessary because it’s so unnatural to them that they tend to fret themselves more than heal.)
I’m usually not a fan of lambing out in the big pastures because it’s harder to keep track of everyone. But in this case, I’m very glad that she lambed after the grass was in. There’s just no dietary substitute for fresh green grass. It’s what God made sheep to eat! It will be absolutely the best thing for her, health-wise, right now.
I’ll keep ya posted on how it goes!
How is your weekend shaping up?