Yesterday at around 10 a.m., I was sitting at the computer typing an email when Lucy started baaing like crazy in the back pen (which is the nursery because it's the only pen I can "babyproof" to keep the lambs from escaping). I stepped out the back door to tell her to "hush" and that "NO, she wasn't coming out" (the day before I'd let them out to graze and getting them back in the pen was a total fiasco) - when I heard a high-pitched "BAAAA" coming from the other pen. It seems that Lucy was trying to tell me that there was a baby in distress. Ella had delivered and was totally ignoring the baby....wandering around the pen with a dazed look on her face like "uh, what do I do now?" A lot of first time moms have this reaction - which is why I was so surprised when Maggie started mothering her little boy right away. Fortunately, Ella's lamb was vigorous and didn't have any signs of a stressful birth. She was baaing and trying to stand up as I ran inside to get my lambing bucket.
When I got back outside, I started rubbing the little ewe lamb with towels and coaxed Ella to come over - which she did. However, any time the baby would lurch towards Ella, she would take off in the other direction. After tying off and cutting the cord, I took the baby to the jug. Normally, the ewe will follow wherever you take her lamb. Not Ella. As soon as I opened the pen, she headed off with the others to eat grass. I had to bribe her with grain to get her into the jug with her lamb. At first Ella didn't want to let the baby nurse, so I had to hold her. However, once the baby had her first meal things immediately clicked into place and Ella seemed to realize "hey, I'm a mom now....guess I'd better take care of this little thing!"
Here are some photos of the little tyke. Ella didn't do the greatest job of cleaning her, but she is still cute as a button!
About an hour old
Resting after her first meal
Poor soggy puppy!
As you can see, her mommy didn't do a very good job of cleaning off the "goo"