Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Peri is Pregnant!

Tis the season for me to be walking around behind my ewes all the time, groping their udders to see if they're pregnant. During the distraction of the evening feeding frenzy tonight, I managed to grope Peri---and sure enough, she has a nice udder developing. She's pregnant!

Normally, this wouldn't be big news, since pretty much all my ewes are expected to be pregnant this time of year. But if you've been reading this blog for a while, you probably remember that Peri was bitten by a rattlesnake last summer, and the resulting necrosis destroyed all of the tendons in one of her front ankles, leaving that foot completely floppy and useless.

(If you missed out on her story the first time around, here are the relevant entries: Peri's Reprieve, Not for the Faint of Heart, Peri's Progress and Other Photos, and A Peg Leg for Peri?)

Anyway, after a couple of failed attempts to stabilize the leg with a brace, I decided to just leave Peri alone and let her figure out her own best course. Even on three legs, she's doing great! She can still outrun me if she wants to. She still shoves other sheep away from the food dishes, just like she always did. And we feed her hay on the ground so that she can lie down and rest her legs while she eats. Overall, she's pretty happy.

I debated whether or not to let her breed this year, wondering if the extra weight of being pregnant would be too much for her on three legs. But when I turned all the other sheep into the breeding pens, she fussed so much at being left out, that I gave in and let her make her own choice.

She gets tired a little faster than usual lately, carrying the extra lamb weight on her three good legs. But the sheep aren't out on pasture now anyway, so it's not as if she has to walk far to reach food, water, or shelter. If she needs any extra help towards the end of her pregnancy, I'll make sure she gets it.

She's not looking particularly huge yet, but here are a couple of photos of her from last year, so you can see how enormous she gets. In the second photo, Ken says she's so fat she looks like a beanbag chair!


P said...

From one Perri to another: good luck!

I'll be rooting for her. Pretty amazing how animals can just take the situation they are in (hree legs, oh. Okay...) and deal.

Wish this Perri could do the same. Sometimes, I don't do quite that well :)


Anonymous said...

Hurray for Peri! Wishing her and the impending lamb all the best. She looks so luxurious. I'd like to lie next to her and snuggle. Wonderful animal!

Anonymous said...

Hurray for Peri! I'll be rooting for her (and her lamb) too. She looks so sweet and so luxurious in that last photo. I'd love to give her a hug!

Rhea said...

That is amazing. She is so huge!