She is a mix of Romney, Blue Hexam, Lincoln. Corriedale & Border Leicester. A true Maine mutt :) She weights about 165 lbs and gives us wonderful fleece every year. She's been Grandma to all the lambs each year and she wears the bell when the sheep are on pasture.
When she came to live with us we knew she had a big abdominal hernia. We never bred her as the Vet advised against it for Freida's well being because of it. She is now ten years old. One Sunday morning I went out to do chores alone and something looked off. After a minute or two of surveying the sheep pens I discovered lovely Freida in the ram pen having herself a good time. I was dumbfounded and stared in disbelief. I had been so careful with her all these years and a 10 minute romp just raised my stress level considerably. We watched her carefully - our vet said the only problem she may have is trouble pushing the lamb out through the birth canal due to the damaged muscle structure. We wanted to be sure we were there in case she needed help. Good thing - she definitely needed help but not the kind you think!
Tom went to the barn around lunchtime on Monday last week to just "check"on things and he calls and tells me I need to come quickly, "we have a problem". Sure enough, Freida has just delivered a black ewe lamb. She is showing no interest in getting up and no interest in the lamb. Tom and I helped her up, put the lamb next to her head and backed off to let her do the rest. Right!! She took one look at that lamb and headed for the hay feeder. Freida has always been guided by her love for food - this time was no different :) We jugged her with her lamb and tied her head in the corner. She had hay and water within reach but couldn't hurt the baby. She wouldn't let her nurse so I milked her colostrum and fed it to the ewe with a syringe several times over the next few hours. At the 10 p.m. feeding the lamb wasn't very hungry. I stepped outside and listened and I could here Freida talking to her a little. I decided to see if the mothering instinct would come to her. The next morning when I went to the barn, the ewe didn't want her bottle - she had been nursing and Freida was talking to her. I untied her head and she started licking her and caring for her. Hallelujah!!