My day started at 2:00am when I relieved Carly from her night shift. A lot had happened through the night in which she adopted out a handful of older lambs. We have a ewe with mastitis that has declined to the point where she is not producing any milk, even while being treated with antibiotics and was to be euthanized when her lamb was adopted out. We were able to adopt out her lamb to a nice mom with almost equal sized newborns. Loretta, the sweet ewe we have been diligently treating has also declined to where she is unable to ruminate and has lost a noticeable amount of weight in this short time. Our best guess in the swelling in her hind end extends internally to her digestive system, which is not functioning properly. I was also happy to see Lil' Bean aka Nanolamb has a new mother that loves her. She has become so taken with her new adopted mother she has claimed the lambing jug as her property. This is very difficult seeing as she needs to share it with three other, MUCH larger siblings.
|Lil' Bean to the very left.|
She was not happy being so far from the heat lamp and after this picture was taken, climbed on top of her new brother and sisters.
Soon we will continue adopting lambs to different ewes until everyone has a reasonable number. These lambs needed to be adopted out ASAP given how gravely sick their mothers are. Lil' Bean is also sporting a flashy splint because after having a romp with us in the barn, we saw she has a bowing leg. Although she is not a fan of the splint, it has straightened her leg and she can use it to karate kick her siblings so she can hog the heat lamp. She is a spitfire and I love it.
Before Carly left she helped me check on the newly adopted lambs and make sure everyone was fed and happy because very few sheep can handle 4 lambs on their own. Once all full and happy, I got some extra time to snuggle with Krúna's two lambs and Carly got to go sleep. Krúna's lambs have grown to really enjoy the human attention and if you make your presence know, they skip over with their heads swinging with delight. Their love of our scratches has encouraged the other lambs to approach too (they are leaders already!!).
|Snuggling with their adopted mom|
Soon enough, a polled ewe started to lamb out.
|In labor and not happy about having her picture taken.|
Loretta's lambs were swiftly adopted to her before her own lambs and she was stripped of her colostrum for those lambs that need it. The polled ewe was overjoyed, showing her love my licking all over my arms. Helgi assisted with her own two lambs and the polled ewe was in heaven. She did not know which lamb to lick and stood with her udder exposed to encourage all of her babies to nurse. Again, given that Loretta's lambs are older, they will stay with the polled ewe and we will adopt out her own lambs because they have a higher chance of being accepted by another mom.
Once all the action died down, I went back to the house to clean up and pack. The second my luggage was rolled out of the bedroom, the cat swiftly moved in and laid on the rug as if to say, "I can finally have my room back".
|The same very cat caught sleeping on my bed|
Snædís and Helgi continue to be two people that I look up to and have so much respect for. When working with some many animals, they continue to deeply care about all of their sheep. They want what is best for each and every one of their animals. Their diligent care for the sheep and the attitude to give the proper care and time for a ewe, ram, or lamb that is sick is commendable. The number of sacrifices they have been through to get Hestur to the standard they want is amazing and something more people need to aspire to. The most amazing part about all of this is even with the work and sleep deprivation, they know how to keep it fun for us, smile, and have good humor. I am forever at their beck and call if they ever need help with their future endeavors.
It could be their respect for sheep, that Icelandic charm, or those eyes 😉, I am in debt to them for giving me another experience of a lifetime. I will only say goodbye for now because I am sure we will see each other again. 💗