Birth Day

Brebis (ewe): Hopefully, this is my better side Bellier (ram): Just let me at the ladies Luc and Nadine have been waiting all week for us to experience a naissance (a birth). Up to now, apart from a completely manual delivery, all the births have been happening either over night or during the day in our absence. At last, today, our luck changed and births happened in our presence, albeit with a little assistance. With just a little explanation, here are a couple of picture series that hopefully speak for themselves and show the sequence of events. For the woefully uninitiated and as a feeble excuse to introduce more players, first, of course, the ram (first right) must be introduced to the ewe (far right).

Almost there, now The head and front legs appearA helping hand to start When we arrived for our morning shift one ewe was ready to produce but her progress was slow so Luc supplied a helping hand to get her started. All was well as the head and front feet appeared, eventually followed by the rest of the bundle of cuteness, complete with a strange black mark on its neck.

Just a minute old Luc introduces mother and youngster Luc helped the yougster out A lot of straining produced a head The water sacks appear During our afternoon shift, as we were engaged in our usual feeding of the herd, Luc spotted a ewe in the first stages of giving birth and called us over. A ewe was in the first stage of birth with her water sacks showing. Eventually she lay on the floor and began pushing but seemed to get tired of it all and stopped, got up and walked around with the infant’s head protruding, still in a sack. We fetched Luc who took control and pulled the youngster out. He put the two together to get them acquainted. The new mother wandered off and eventually dropped a second youngster, again with help. Unfortunately, though not rejecting her twins, this first timer she seemed not to know what to do and neglected her lambs; Luc had to make her suckle them. [Ed: No, we don’t know why this lamb is orange. Luc said it happens sometimes. Her second lamb was white.]

Nursing Caring mother By contrast, other mothers are very attentive. Here’s a couple of shots, afterbirth and all, showing how things should be in a perfect ovine world.

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