On Wednesday morning Marilla ate too quickly and had a blockage of grain in her throat. In spite of our best efforts she died. It happened so quickly. She had become an attentive mother so I was worried for her lambs. They refused bottles and started to eat more hay. Their cries were pitiful.
On Friday afternoon Maude finally had twins. The ram lamb was larger and stood pretty quickly and nursed. The ewe lamb was not able to stand up. Once in the lambing jug I made sure she nursed so she had the benefits of colostrum. Although I feed the sheep minerals with selenium I could not be sure that the lambs were not deficient so I gave them some selenium and vitamin E gel. It was hard to leave that frail lamb but I thought her best chance of survival was in the care of her mother. Maude was unwavering in her care, nickering, nudging and licking the lamb. On Saturday morning the ewe lamb was able to stand for short periods and nurse. Vanna is still weak and unsteady. She often falls but can keep up with the rest of the flock, especially since her mother is vigilant in keeping track of her. Both Vanna and her brother Vinnie have overbites which exclude them from being part of the breeding flock. Vinnie was wethered today and will keep our future ram company in the bachelor pen.
When Maude, Vinnie and Vanna were reintorduced to the flock there was much commotion. The orphan lambs doggedly tried to steal milk and Maude just as adamntly kicked them away. Now all 5 sheep graze together. Maude attends to her lambs and allows the orphans to nurse.