Patchwork Sasha delivered twins by Patchwork Gabriel on March 19
Patchwork Avery – 4 horned ram with icy blue eyes
Patchwork Ava – a pretty ewe with bright blue eyes
Gabriel really did himself proud with these fleeces – which are promising to have the openness and length of Gabriel’s fleece with the crimp of Sasha’s! Sometimes the cross that looked so good on paper looks even better on lambs. (and sometimes not).
Sasha is a ewe that doesn’t like to be watched when she’s attending to delivering or caretaking her lambs. Not only does she not like anyone watching her birthing, for the first few days, she prefers you not watch her nursing her lambs. Which leaves me hiding behind trees and peeking out to be sure her lambs are nursing. Of course, the fact that they are bouncing around and playing is also a good indicator that they are being fed.
I used marking ink on Gabriel. He covered his ewes rather quickly and I did not renew his ink, although the ewes remained with him for a total of six weeks. The magical 149 days arrived. No lambs. A check showed his three ewes were pregnant, but not immediately due. Sasha lambed 16 days past what I thought would be her due date, indicating that she caught on the second covering. Macaroon and Lorena are due soon now and neither caught on their first covering. It is not unusual for ewes to catch on the second breeding (or even third breeding), but it brought to mind something I’d come across awhile back. Valbazen can cause temporary sterility in males. Disclaimer – I read this on a couple of goat forums and on a hunting dog forum. I have not found reference to this in any veterinary manuals, have never asked any vet, I don’t know if it’s true. Checking back in Gabriel’s records, I found that I did indeed worm him with Valbazen before putting him with his ewes. He was the only ram that needed worming, so the other three rams were not wormed. I’m sure everyone is aware that Valbazen should not be given to ewes 45 days before introduction to the ram or for the first 45 days after conception. That fact is documented. I just don’t use it at all for pregnant or possibly pregnant ewes. I don’t know if the Valbazen caused temporary sterility in Gabriel. I do know his ewes missed on the first breeding and caught on the second. I do know that if he was indeed sterile, it was definitely temporary. And that his lambs were worth waiting for :).
Hopefully, Macaroon will follow soon with her Gabriel lambs.