So... some plans just never fall in place correctly. Fat Sharon apparently, is really just fat. We thought she was carrying triplets, and she's been big for so long, I thought she would explode.
We found her Monday night with one ewe lamb at her side. Everything seemed great, we left, assuming she would give birth to more lambs.
Not really. She expelled an incomplete lamb sometime over night. Not a good sign. But not only that, these lambs were a surprise, as her bags never filled with milk.
Sharon is not super old, but did have mastitis several years ago. I cleared her udder and we thought all was fine. But there is no milk back there now. So little lamby is now on a bottle full time. Remind me to swing by Murdoch's for some lamb replacer on the way home tonight and to replenish my colostrum supply.
Anyhoo...Larry found a second mal-formed lamb on the ground with her placenta the next morning. That is so sad to me. The lack of milk production, and possible birth defects are too many strikes in my book. I have a butcher date set for July 1 for 4 critters. I was going to take Frigg, as she is an underwhelming performer, but it looks like I will take Sharon instead.
Sharon was born in 2012 to Shirley, our first and best ewe. She was one of three, Pete, Berg and Sharon. (I'll buy you a beer if you get the reference). She was the second ewe from Shirley we decided to keep. Keeping a triplet may have been a bit of a mistake. We didn't know this, because Shirley was such a rock star. Shirley could feed three lambs without our help. Truly an amazing girl. Sharon, however, could not.
Her first set of lambs were triplets. The third was about half the size of her oldest sister. Seeing that Shirley could handle twins, we didn't intervene. Which we should have. Gersemi died after 3 days. Sharon went on to have another set of triplets, and Pinkie Pie also died at a young age for unknown causes, and then triplets again - with Han, Chewie and Millenium Falcon. She got mastitis at this time, which I worked to clear, and all three lambs survived. We supplemented milk to all three of these lambs, as I will never mistake triplets again. She had another healthy set of twins, and last year she gave us just one lamb, who died at a young age of unknown causes (though I believe it was related to the copper toxicity incident).
Nanna, Gersemi and Sol, Sharon's first lambs
Sharon with Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle and Shining Armor
So now she has one healthy lamb, and an incomplete lamb. With non-functioning udders, which her mom had at her last lambing at age 11. We'll be saying goodbye to Sharon in July. Frigg will get a reprieve.
I had super high hopes for Sharon. She stood to best her mother's performance, and I love the genetics from her mom.
I have plenty of Shirley genetics in my flock. Of 24 ewes, 5 of them are from Shirley's tree, plus a 6th as I'll keep Tori Amos to replace her mom. So over 20% of my flock comes from Shirley. No other ewe from my base herd has given so much to the flock.
I did have high hopes for Sharon. I've been waiting all these years for someone to best her performance. Marcia came close - one more year and she might have matched her. Margaery is certainly slated to do so, but Sharon could have topped her. Shirley was 11.5 years old when we said goodbye to her. Sharon is now my oldest ewe, at not even 7.5 years old.
The above graph shows ewe performance. Yellow line is Shirley as my best in class. Green line shows the ewe's age. Blue bars are the lambs they have produced for me, red is their potential based on their age. Many of my ewes COULD be better performers than Shirley. No one has topped her yet. Frigg was on my chopping block as a low performer. I know, Hattie and Meg are there, too, but they are so darn NICE!
So Frigg will wait until we are ready for more sausage in our freezer.