Hello Everyone! It was a pretty exciting day today! Anastasia came to visit! After a tour of the barn, we did some surveillance. Within about five minutes of Anastasia's arrival, we put her to work correcting a lamb that decided to come into the world with just its head! Welcome to Hestur, where the lambs dive into the world head first! She was a superstar and had the lamb's position corrected in no time. Her experience came in handy today for sure!
We noticed one of the ewes carrying triplets had a nice water sac, so we calmly moved her to her own birth pen, which she willingly entered at her own leisurely pace, more like waddling pace. Pretty soon, baby number one was one the ground. Baby number two, on the other hand, took a little convincing to come out. The second baby has large horns and was HUGE compared to his two sisters, which made the birth a little more difficult for the ewe, but she was a champion and handled it well. The third baby was relatively small, but she was backwards! Birth is no time to be unique little lamb!
One of the yearlings also decided to throw us for a loop today. She was originally suppose to have twins, but only one baby developed during the pregnancy. While waiting for the second lamb, we noticed that there was something strange about the water sac. Come to find out, there was no second lamb at all. The very small fetus was delivered at that time and we could feel the small underdeveloped skeleton. The skull and ribs were most pronounced, but from the experience we learned what to look for when a lamb is lost early in the pregnancy of twins when only one comes to term.
Here you can see the dark mass of tissue in my hand which is where the underdeveloped fetus was carried.
THE MAIN EVENT: EUROVISION 2016!!! For those of you who were like me, and unfamiliar with the magic that is Eurovision, let me explain. Imagine a competition full of European music that is riddled with terrible lyrics, but many have peppy beats to compensate. Each country puts forward one singer to perform with one song, until the death (and by death we mean ultimate glory, and a fancy trophy). The winning country has to host the next years contest, which requires a lot of money, time, and preparations, so most countries aim for the number two spot, not the number one. It was so fun to take our minds off of lambing for the evening and relax with pizza, soda and Icelandic candies. Yum, licorice....Tonight was the finals for Eurovision, and twenty countries were competing. The winner was decided by 50% public votes, and the other 50% was awarded by a jury from each country that gave points 1-12, 12 being the most points applicable. Ukraine ended up winning somehow, we are still having a hard time processing it. The song was just....very bad. We think the singer blew out her voice sometime during the competition, so her notes often fell flat. Malta, Belgium, and Russia (who came in third) all did a fantastic job and had our votes, but did not win sadly. The top points from the public votes came down to Ukraine and Russia. During this time, security was backstage monitoring the interactions between the Ukraine and Russian performers and their squads to ensure that no fights broke out. Overall, it was a very entertaining and exciting experience and we will DEFINITELY be watching next year!!!
The research lambs are getting very big and are doing very well on the milk replacer. Here is one goofy ram lamb practicing his mountain climbing...on my back.
Until next time!!!!!