Without the devotion of our Livestock Guardians, the flock would be vulnerable to predators. They have even been know to help a ewe by licking off the first born lamb while she delivers a second. Pictured is Juda, who by training was a therapy dog who hated to travel. He has found his true calling on the farm.
Bertha gave birth this morning and I can’t tell you how special a moment it was but hopefully the following will help show why. Bertha is a special ewe not only because she has my grandmother’s name but for her personality. She is always the first to greet me and seems to enjoy my company as much as I do hers. Today she was next to the pen that I keep the bottle lambs in at night. It was obvious she was in labor so I feed the lambs and quickly walked them to pasture. As soon as I had left with the lambs, Bertha began to call out. I thought she was calling for some of the other sheep as Mae and Myrtle came down to be near. She only quieted when I sat down with her. I was truly honored as sheep can be rather private creatures when they are lambing. As fate would have it, I was grateful I was present as the lamb did not respond after Bertha’s short labor. It was not breathing. I responded with the only action I could think of which was to dangling it upside down by her hind legs. While dangling a fair amount of fluid drained from her nose, and after what felt like an eternity but which was probably only 30 seconds, the lamb started to sputter. I used my sweat shirt to further wipe her nose. Placing her back on the ground, her mother continued to lick her clean. The stimulating washing quickly had her trying to get to her feet. When I left the barn to come home, she was on her feet and investigating the utter. I keep asking myself…..how could Bertha have known she would need my help to save her lamb. Was it just coincidence? No, I do not believe that as I have felt the wisdom that is present in these noble and loving creatures.