Lambing season two years ago found me with a ewe who delivered twins and then refused to allow one of them to nurse. The ewe lamb was of good weight, appeared healthy and I could find no reason why the ewe was rejecting her. I had not bought or built a grafting gate at that time so couldn’t graft the lamb onto the ewe and I didn’t have time to bottle feed her either. I had reconciled myself to losing the lamb when the lamb came up with her own solution. Every time she tried to nurse from either side, the ewe would butt her away. However, if she went under the ewe’s tail and nursed from behind where the ewe couldn’t see her, the ewe ignored her.
I was so impressed with the lamb’s ingenuity and determination that I kept her.
She didn’t lamb for me last year but this year it was apparent that she was definitely pregnant. I was concerned that she might also be a less than ideal mother and finally this year bought a grafting gate just for such emergencies.
I’ve been checking on sheep periodically all weekend as several ewes were looking uncomfortable and ready to lamb. Just before feeding time I went out to find this ewe cleaning off lambs. She had twins – a ram lamb about 5.75 lbs and a ewe lamb about 5.5 lbs. The weights are on the low side but both lambs have been up and nursing so I am hopeful she will be able to raise both. At least for the present she is letting both nurse.