Sheep LOVE bad weather to lamb in. I don’t know what it is, but a good storm is all that’s needed and you’ll be sure to get at least one. Here’s something I bet you don’t know. Sheep only have two teets. Sometimes they have triplets or more, but then they just have to share. Sometimes the odd triplet out fights back in and does fine. Sometimes it does fine, IF you supplement it with some bottle feedings. Sometimes the odd triplet out dies immediately. Sometimes the mother just out right rejects it or lets it get too cold and then you have to rescue the lamb. It becomes a bottle lamb and has to be feed at least every 3 hours.
Our first set of triplets this year picked the night of a big ice storm. We saved two of them. The next set of triplets didn’t even have the bad weather excuse, but we got the odd lamb. Last night, it had been in the 70s during the day and the temperature had dropped like a stone and the wind came up. This signaled two sheep it was time to lamb. One of them decided to try to push two lambs out at once (one facing each way) and we had to call the vet, Chance, who was at our house by 11:30pm. The long and short of it was two more rescued lambs. The inside of their mouths were freezing cold. From 10pm when the first one came in until they were finally warmed up enough for the night at 12:30am, it was towel rubbing, hair dryer blowing, bottle feeding, and all the rest. In Australia and maybe on the big ranches out west ,they throw them to the wind and who lives lives, but around here you fight for every lamb. They both made it, I’m glad to say, but this makes 5 bottle lambs for at least a week. I don’t know how we’ll cope every 3 hours.
UPDATED March 3 2018: I added the photo.
Sarah S. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many times at the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. She is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales fighting to bring the History, Mystery, Magic, and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. How can you help? Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, look at her photos, and find her on Facebook , Twitter , Google+, LinkedIn , SlideShare, and Academia.edu . Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and former director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.