Saturday, March 27, 2010

Introducing Cute Little DonnaLisa!

Sally holding DonnaLisa

Carmen gave birth to her first baby, DonnaLisa, on March 12th.

Carmen with a confused look on her face just after DonnaLisa was born.

For some first-time mothers, delivering a lamb can be confusing ... the ewe seems to be not quite sure what they should be doing. This was the case with Carmen. She was surprised at DonnaLisa and seemed to consider the lamb a threat. Carmen would stamp her feet and butt DonnaLisa hard enough to knock the lamb down. Carmen would not allow DonnaLisa to nurse or stand up.

We found it necessary to intervene until Carmen realized her lamb was not a threat. The answer is to use a device called a stanchion. The ewe's head is placed in the stanchion and locked in placed ... almost like the old-fashioned stocks for punishing criminals. The stanchion allows the ewe to eat and drink, but prevents her from butting the lamb or interfering with nursing. Typically, within a few days, the ewe gets over her confusion and readily accepts her lamb. This is what happened with Carmen and DonnaLisa; Carmen was released in three days and is acting like a mother should toward her lamb.

DonnaLisa is one of the important lambs for Grace Valley Farms. She has genetics from both Edison and Foreman. Her conformation and wool qualities are evident even though she is quite young, displaying relatively long, lustrous, and soft wool!


lmtc55 said...

THANK YOU Meyer family for again educating and informing me on another aspect of raising sheep. I check the blog often to see new pictures and read the amazing stories of shepherding. DonnaLisa is DARLING and I'm glad Carmen has taken to her lamb. Dixie & Dolly look cute in their new coats. It's like you've rolled up their pant legs for school. I'm looking forward to more posts. Lisa

stringplayer said...

Oh my gosh! That cute little face, and what a beautiful, all around gorgeous lamb. Great news regarding Carmen and DonnaLisa with mom accepted her baby. What an interesting device: "the wall of shame" so to speak. Wonderful news, too, seeing the results of your searching and genetic research, and continued hard work on the farm paying off. All your sheepies are obviously happy and blessed with wonderful care. Can't wait to try out the next generation of fleece!