The ewes we have currently on Ochre Arch began lambing in earnest on 12th August 2009, 11 days ago.
So far we have:
- Lost 3 ewes prior to lambing, one in hindsight we may have been able to save by putting a splint on its broken leg.
- Lost 2 ewes in the process of lambing. In both cases the lamb had died in the mother and the mother could not give birth. In one case we did came across the ewe before she died but could not get near her over a couple of days to help. With the other, the ewe died without us even knowing she was in trouble. The paddocks we have them lambing in provide excellent tree and shrub protection against the wind and rain, but a downside is that it is near-impossible to see all of the sheep in the mob.
- Saved 2 ewes. In one case the lamb had died and was very difficult to ‘pull’, and in the other case the lamb lived, but curiously was the second of twins. Both twins lived as far as we know.
- Picked up a very weak and apparently abandoned lamb, taking it home to poddy. Unfortunately it did not survive.
- Observed probably about 15 or so lamb carcasses so far, with their deaths being for a variety or reasons. Most, if not all, we believe were either still-born or just not destined to survive.
- Seen a mixture of single lambs through to in some cases triplets. At face value it looks like the overall lambing percentage and survival rates are pretty good. We won’t know the real story until lamb marking.
- Observed Australian Ravens in amongst the mob. They seem focused on eating the after-birth and have ‘had a go’ at the lamb carcasses.