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Elsa, Gotland ewe, and her lambs

RCF Elsa was one of our first Gotlands. She came to us as a bottle fed lamb, As a triplet, she had fallen out of sight right after birth and had a limp that, the veterinarian had said, would go away with a little bit of time. She was little, jet black and right away she felt like a special one. She grew, the limp went away, she still very much loved interactions with our family. For that reason, the other sheep picked on her a little more than they should have but she developed a thick skin and emerged as a force in the flock.

Elsa is the one who will actually answer to her name. I will be up at the house on the deck, looking at the barn and I will call “Elsa” and the next thing I know Elsa replies “BAAA”, I can spot her “Baa” among all the “baas”. When she is a bit hungry or a bit bored, she will post herself at the coral’s fence and stare at the house!

You have guessed by now that she is gentle, loving and also different. She does not like to get her inoculations, she does not like to feel restrained, she just want to be Elsa, free as the wind, great mother, efficient grazer, wonderful sheep!

Elsa has lambed many nice lambs, some of them have been sold in other flocks, some of them are still on the farm.

This year Elsa was artificially inseminated with semen from SWE Kalder Lakris, one of the rams from the 2017 semen import. If you have been following our journey, you might remember AI day on the farm, ultrasound and recently lambing.

Elsa went in labor on January 28th with, what appeared to be mild contractions. We kept thinking that things would be moving along, we just needed to give her more time. I watched her as a hawk. A slight discharge but nothing indicating that she was moving along. Her cervix felt pretty tight. On the 29th, Paul took her to the clinic, where we checked her calcium levels and checked her for ketones. Calcium was starting be low, there were a few ketones in her urine. It appeared she was starting to loose energy. We took care of it right then, knowing that it was only temporary. We ended up talking with Dr Paul Bailey down in Roseburg, who gave us a protocol to follow for the next 24 hours. Elsa came home that night, and although she was pawing and obviously feeling discomfort, no progress was noticed on the morning of the 30th.

Elsa had a C-section on the 30th and has 2 beautiful ram lambs. As always she is a stellar mother!