Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How Lambs are Born

  When a ewe is about to give birth she typically withdraws from the other sheep and begins scratching out an area on the ground where she will lie down.  She will  intermittently get up and walk around as the labor begins.  Here Helga has just pushed out the amniotic sac.

She will typically lie down during the contractions.

I missed the birth of the first lamb, but here Helga is cleaning the membrane that coated it at birth.

The ewe will continue to lick her lamb and consume the membranes.  In the wild this would also ensure that nothing is left that would attract predators by its scent.

While this is going on the other sheep in the yard are going about their daily business.

Clean, clean, clean.....
The ewe lies down as and another hard contraction begins....
After the contraction, the ewe stands up to continue cleaning the first lamb.  A  second amniotic sac  has appeared.
Note how Helga continues licking her lamb.
The second lamb is pushed out.  Ewes give birth laying down.
It was a cold day and I was wearing my winter coat.  When you see a newborn lamb lying wet on the ground in a cold wind you feel like you should offer help, but I knew Helga is a good mother and would handle it just fine without me.

The lamb raises its head while the mother begins the cleanup.

Lick, lick, lick.....

The first lamb investigates....

Maaa!  It's cold out here. In a short while the lamb will be on its feet and nursing.


No comments:

Post a Comment