Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Winnie the Ewe giving birth to Anak the Giant

Late last year I got my ewe, Winnie, bred to a large Suffolk ram.  Early this spring she lambed- giving birth to a very large single lamb, which we named Anak.  He weighed 12.5 lbs at birth.

     We had been watching Winnie for several weeks, as we didn't know the exact date she was bred, and therefore had only a general idea of when she would lamb.  Finally, on April 27th, 2012, we noticed that she was acting a bit differently- standing in the pasture with her head down, not wanting to eat her feed.  We caught her, and put her in the stall, where she stayed the rest of the day.  That evening she went into hard labor.

      The lamb was very large, and she couldn't push him out by herself, so I had to pull on his front legs for quite some time before he was finally born.  In the video, it is difficult to see how hard I was pulling, but for a while the action was rather intense.  I was a bit exhausted when it was all over, but happy to have a healthy lamb.  Of course, like all the other births on our farm, this was a family experience (as you can probably tell  by all the conversation in the video!)

     This was a very interesting experience, especially for my first time, and I'm glad to have had it.  But I do hope that the next birth will be easier.  I think Winnie was a bit overdue, and I also overfed her, not realizing that I was causing problems later on.  Next time around she won't be getting as much grain, and we'll see how it goes.  Enjoy!