Sonatina with her triplets about 8 hours after they were born.
As I watched her take care of the lambs, I suddenly realized there wasn’t a water bag that followed that last ewe lamb out and that I was either going to have to call the vet or there was another lamb coming. Sonatina didn’t even lay down for the last lamb, she barely even had contractions when a small water bag appeared and just hung there with this tiny lamb in it. It only took me a few moments to realize that he was in trouble if I didn’t break that water bag, and with quite a lot of effort I finally got it open and one of the tiniest lambs I’ve ever seen was out. This little guy was about 2.5#’s, a fawn kat with wild spotting and he was weak and chilling fast. I scrambled around for heat lamps, a pole to hang a lamp, an extension cord, more towels to dry him and a few boards and panel to block drafts. It took about 45 minutes for the little guy to get warmed up and then he was up and looking for food!! I was thrilled because 10 minutes after he was born he couldn’t even lift his little head.
After a lot of failed attempts, the little fella was finally nursing and I could breathe a sigh of relief. I had given all 3 a couple shots of Nutri Drench, so they were all bouncing around by the next morning like they didn’t have a care in the world. They are now growing like weeds and you’d never know that the ram and that first ewe were ever that much smaller than their large sister at birth.
Sonatina is a perfect example of a ewe with great mothering instincts and still has plenty of milk for 3 lambs, (says this grateful shepherd) and I am very happy to report that all 3 have amazing tight, crimpy fleeces and lovely birth coats.
Below is a photo of Lynx, the tiny ram that was last of the triplets born, warming under the heat lamp.
And here are the triplets about after a few weeks of being taken care of by a fantastic Shetland ewe.
Right to left: Lynx, Leda and Larissa
As you can see, there are no signs of these lambs not getting enough nutrition, so this ewe will be sticking around in my flock for a while, she exhibits everything that I want to see in a Shetland ewe. Sonatina has definitely earned her keep here for the foreseeable future.
Kelly K. Bartels
OK Acres Shetlands