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!