So MANY triplets! What is in the water this year!
Onyx not only surprised us with triplets, she surprised us with their size and the fact that she is taking great care of all three of them. They have just had their first round of vaccines, and they are going great.
Then Oola, with a raging case of mastitis, has triplets too! They all got a little cold and spent their first night in the house. The boys went out with mom, who adopted them back, and have been outside ever since. Fireball, seen above with all of Onyx's triplets, spent quite some time in the house and is now outside, too. Oola's babies are getting supplemented with milk, with Firestar depending on it.
The weather was warm and everything was dry. It was a great winter for babies.
Check these lambies - I haven't gotten pictures of everything, but these are Margaery's babies - Elektra is the interesting colored ewe lamb, which we plan to add to the flock
Things were going well, I was keeping a watch list of who was most likely to go next.
And then the weather got cold. Hattie had twins, which is special for her. She's a nice ewe, which is why I keep her, and a bottle baby herself - she spent a few days in diapers at the neighbor's house! She doesn't often have twins, but this time she did. But one got really cold. We had to bring it inside.
Cold animals don't eat. If you put your finger inside a lamb's mouth and it feels colder than your finger, we have a problem. That's a quick check for when you don't have a thermometer in your pocket. Cold lambs don't have a suckle reflex. So this little one go brought inside, warmed up with a hair dryer, and tube fed. She also got some colostrum paste and other goodies we give the littles to give them a kick start.
However, she didn't survive. I found her gone the next morning. I don't think she ever really warmed up. This doesn't happen often, we have to remember that a new born lamb has some energy from mom. It's more important to truly get them warm and then let them eat. That's what worked for Oola's triplets.
Two sets of triplets is a big deal in one lambing season. It's only happened twice, in 2015 and 2016. Remember, Shirley was our triplet queen, who raised 3 successful sets of triplets. Sharon - who is Shirley's daughter and a triplet herself, has also had 3 sets of triplets, but not successfully.
Now we have 3 sets of triplets.
We came home today to put two little piggies in the barn, and hoping to put them in a stall. Instead, we found 3 lambs in there with Persephone. So we quickly closed her in, got mama some hay and water and had to find someplace else to put the pigs. But in the process, I realized one of the lambs wasn't standing. I also saw another ewe, Mara, with an amniotic sac hanging out of her. I thought maybe one of the three belonged to her. So I rallied her into the stall and checked to see if she took to the lamb.
However, I decided that one was too cold and brought her in the house. I checked a second one, it was also cold. The third was standing and nursing, so I left her. We brought the boy and girl in the house.
They were so cold. We tubed them, gave them colostrum paste, and put them in the bathroom. It's kind of a sauna in there, so we thought they would warm up well.
However, we struggled to tube the ewe. She was smaller than her brother, who downed two drench syringed through the tube. We started working on his sister, and felt the tubing was going well, but we overdid it. Next thing you know, we did too much, and some of the milk came up through her nose. That is a VERY bad sign, as it means milk was likely in her lungs. She passed away shortly thereafter.
DANG IT. Two lambs gone within a week! What a crappy week!
In the meantime, the lamb I thought might belong to Mara certainly did not. I saw Mara give birth to her adorable twins. No way Mara had triplets! So yeah, 3 sets of triplets. One set is successfully being raise by mom, one set is being supplemented. And Persephone lost a triple, and Hattie lost a twin.
Actually, the ram lamb is now fully warm, and drinking well from a bottle. We might take her back out to mom to see if she takes him back. Mama is always best, and they have a heat pad in their stall.
And Sharon is still pregnant - full udders, she's huge. There is a real possibility that there will be another set of triplets... 4 in one lambing season. HOLY MOLY!
I hope the sun comes back out, for the sake of my lambies and my sanity. And for Ash, Applejack, Sharon, Meg and Skadi - who are still waiting to give birth. I don't want to lose any more lambs to this cold!