Friday, June 3, 2016

A Tad Un-Sheepish of Ewe

If it bothers you to see the unsightly, slightly disturbing, maybe a little gross, natural habits of the animal world then skip this post.  It’s not blood and guts or anything as bad as that but if you’re squeamish this is your heads up. 

I don’t know if this occurs in barn lambed flocks or if the shepherd does the cleaning up before it can occur, but I’ve seen a few of our ewes do it.

It’s not so bothersome to me that she’s eating the umbilical cord and afterbirth, yet it does disturb me to see her with blood on her chin in the second photo.  That scene feels a tad un-sheepish, like the ewe has gone rogue.

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Another tad un-sheepish occurrence this lambing was an attack by a ewe.  I caught her twins (hefty little things they were too) and as I usually do, got down on my knees to hold them. 

I was barely down when she charged, caught me on the shoulder, knocked me over and slammed me with her head.  Then she backed up to try again.  She got a couple more hits in before I was back on my feet.  I still had her lambs, she was still livid.  I had to dodge and fend off several charges lest she nail me in the thigh and take me out again. 

She backed up once more but now seemed to rethink her strategy.  Before she could charge I put the lambs back down but still didn’t let go of them.  She knew they were there and somehow we came to an arrangement.  She puffed and she huffed and she gurgled frantically to her lambs.  I worked just as frantically, one eye on her the whole time, eager to let these little suckers go before she upped her strategy to ram me again.  

No coyote is going to steal those lambs.  


3 comments:

  1. I give both cattle and ewe afterbirth to the cleanup crew, the pigs! They are good at this job. I have never noticed my ewes eating afterbirth, but have seen cattle do this many times. You need to have one of your stock dogs watching your back when you mess with those lambs!! I hope you were not injured. Mom cows with new calves can be very, very dangerous, and I never let my guard down, even if they are extremely friendly cows. You must be exhausted with the long and extensive lambing season. I hope you have time to rest!

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  2. You made me smile when you mentioned this ewe and a coyote. Hope you aren't too sore from her "motherly instincts." I readily see it takes a lot of knowledge and stamina to get through lambing season. I too hope you can rest soon.

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  3. Thank you for the concern. I am doing fine, she cause no injury to speak of. Made me work pretty hard to stay out of her way so we were both huffing. And yes, a stock along could have prevented that.

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