Sometimes the best action is to do nothing

I came home just before midnight on Friday and even before going into the house to change I headed to the sheep pen. I found a ewe in the small pen, along with two lambs. Another ewe was on the other side of the cattle panel next to a lamb and the rest were all bedded down in a group on the opposite side of the big pen. My first thought was that a ewe had lambed twins. However, when the light landed on the ewe, she started to move and both lambs bolted to their feet. One headed to the ewe and the second tried to climb through the cattle panel to the other ewe. It seemed to be having problems and I was afraid it was going to hurt itself, so despite the fact that I was in a skirt I opened the gate and headed into the sheep pen. The lamb had finally gotten through and was standing next to the ewe that had been on the opposite side of the fence. While I would normally have put the ewes with their lambs into the lambing jugs, since both lambs were dry and had obviously been up to nurse, I decided it could wait until morning. Plus, there was this little niggling voice asking how certain was I that I had two ewes, each with a single lamb.

Sure enough, when I went out this morning, it was obvious that only one ewe had lambed and that both lambs belonged to her. After feeding the sheep, it was a simple task to scoop up both lambs and carry them to the lambing jugs with mom following behind. If I had put both ewes in separate lambing jugs last night, it is very likely I would have lost the lamb I had assigned to the errant ewe. When there is no imminent danger, I’ve learned that a wait and see approach is usual the best.

Two ram lambs, each about 9.5 lbs. 2015 04 03 - no 85


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