There’s nothing softer in the entire universe than a lamb’s ear, with the exception of my masculinity when I stroke one.
On cue with the arrival of spring have come our first ever lambs. And my oh my, are they squidgeable.
You know that feeling you get when you see something so overwhelmingly adorable that you want to squish it? It’s called “cute aggression”, and these little darlings are no exception.
Those twins, a boy and a girl, are from our favourite ewe who has always been super friendly. Hopefully her offspring are just as tame. With the excessive ear-stroking they’ve been getting, they damn well should be.
They weren’t the first two to be born from our fifteen ladies. The first birthing was unfortunately tragic.
The first ewe to give birth did so during a cold stormy night. We think these two might have died of exposure, or poor mothering, or a combination.
One of them was still covered in amniotic sack, which indicated it hadn’t been cleaned. The mother’s first priority should be to clean the faces of her lambs to clear any fluid from their mouths and nostrils so they can breath, and then clean the rest of their bodies so they don’t get cold.
It was a sad sight to come upon, especially since these were our first two lambs. Poor mumma. We’ll have to keep an eye on her because her udder will swell with no lambs drinking from it, and she may develop mastitis.
We were hesitant to move the sheep to a more sheltered paddock because they were so heavily pregnant, but we figured it was for the best in case the weather didn’t clear.
When our favourite ewe’s lambs were born a couple days later, Char was away on business, so in my solitude I was especially anxious to make certain they were healthy, drinking, and warm. I must have checked on them ten times that first day. At one point I was concerned the ewe’s teats weren’t lactating properly, so I ended up squeezing them to see. Yes, I milked a sheep.
But all was well – even though I hadn’t seen the lambs directly suckling, they were bounding about full of energy, so they must have. It was gloriously sunny and those frigid westerly gales had ceased at last. The final day of winter bore clear skies and fresh healthy lambs.
Our favourite ewe is a smart one, we reckon. Textbook mothering. I found her not long after she must have given birth, rigorously cleaning her little babies.
Didn’t look like it tasted very nice…
Alpacino and Pacman were hovering nearby, curious and almost protective. Llamas have been known to exhibit protective behaviour around infants, so perhaps their alpaca cousins share that trait.
Gordon, like a lot of absent fathers, was off gallivanting with other ladies. The alpacas, however, obviously in the friend-zone but faultlessly supportive, stayed close.
Pacman, you could say, even looked… proud. Congratulations, you’re a… father? (Shh, don’t tell him.)
We look forward to seeing a couple dozen more bundles of fluff pop out over the next few weeks. Hopefully most survive and there are no instances of triplets needing special attention. We’ll post an update when all our pregnant ewes have mothered. In the mean time, here’s a video for you to explode with cute aggression: