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Next lamb

04/28/09

Permalink 07:06:05 pm, by Karen Email , 451 words   English (US)
Categories: Journal

Next lamb

Penny lambed on Sunday afternoon. She went into labor normally, and delivered fairly quickly a small ewe lamb which was up and about in short order. I went back to the house and came out about 15 minutes later and she was starting to deliver a second lamb.

This delivery seemed to be taking longer, and I could see from the size of the nose that the lamb was going to be bigger than the first. I think the lamb was alive at this point but I'm not sure. Eventually the head emerged, but I could not see any feet. Back inside to grab lambing supplies and a phone number and my husband with his cell phone. When we got back out, she was lying down again with the head of the lamb still out and with the first lamb up and bouncing around, and in fact the lamb had made it to the opposite side of the paddock where Onyx's lambs were playing. We called Elaine at Frelsi Farm and left messages at their home and cell numbers.

I got my hand in and the first thing I found was the left knee which was up against the side of the lamb's neck. I was able to straighten the leg and pull it out, and then with my other hand inside applying pressure on the opposite shoulder, and traction on the leg that was out, and a push from the ewe, the lamb slid out. You can deliver a lamb with one leg back if the lamb isn't too big. However, it had been dead for some minutes already if it wasn't in fact stillborn from the beginning. I cleared the mucus from its mouth and tried a few breaths, but it was not to be. It was a ram lamb and bigger than the ewe lamb, but not excessive, probably 8 lbs or so, with small horn buds.

Ken called Elaine back to let them know they didn't need to call us, and we got David on the phone, and then a few minutes later talked to Elaine. Both were very encouraging and helpful and many thanks go out to them.

I did decide to take the pelt from the dead lamb, and also saved meat for the dogs.

The upside is that we have a spunky 7lb ewe lamb bouncing around and getting lots of milk! This is probably our best ewe, so I'm glad that the lamb is doing well. The ewe is an experienced mother and has not had problems before, so we are looking at it as just one of those flukey things that can happen.

Three more to go, and crossed fingers for no more difficulties.

Sharing ideas from our small farm in NH, where we raise Icelandic sheep and assorted poultry. We are members of ISBONA (Icelandic Sheep Breeders of North America) and the CLRC (Canadian Livestock Records Corporation). We also participate in the Voluntary Scrapie Flock Certification Program (NH54). Contact us at karen [at] birchtreefarm [dot] com. Please also visit the farm website at Birchtree Farm.
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