Sadly the wee lamb we took in last night died. The ewe didn’t have enough milk to sustain the lamb in the crucial first few days of life.
The sheep are fed sheep nuts every morning. They are all so keen to get fed that it is very easy to get knocked over by them! The dog hides under the quad trailer to keep safe!
There were a few new lambs this morning, all seemed healthy. I caught a ewe that was lambing to give it a help – the lamb came out very easily so the ewe would have managed fine without intervention. It is always best for the ewe to leave her to deliver the lamb herself, however, you are never sure whether the lamb is coming the right way and I always think it better to be safe than sorry!
On my return from morning feed I managed to get the quad bike stuck – thankfully after a wee bit pushing and shoving I got it out without the need of another vehicle!
Fit as a fiddle
By 9am, I had done 10,000 steps (according to my fit bit!!)
The lambs that were taken in yesterday to foster on to the ewes that had the dead lambs have accepted their new lambs so were put out into the fank.
Aila and I went out in the afternoon, expecting a quiet ‘sheep round’. The weather was cold, wet and windy so we decided to take the Landrover so Aila wouldn’t get cold. We marked one lamb. Orange tags are for ewe lambs, white for wedder lambs (castrated males).
We noticed a ewe lambing as we were about to leave. Going by this morning I had thought it would be another quick delivery. Once the ewe was caught I discovered that the lamb was coming with two legs back. When lambs are born the correct way they should come out is with their two front legs first with the head between the two legs.
A helping hand
It has been a while since I lambed a ewe with legs back so I phoned my Auntie for some help – (thank goodness for mobile phones and signal!). I pushed the head back through the pelvis of the ewe to try and find the two legs. This goes quite far back into the ewe so you are nearly an arm’s length inside. It is warm, slimy and tight. I felt the ewe contracting around my arm – she pushing the lamb out as I was pushing it back in to get the legs. I eventually got both legs to discover the head had twisted. The head had to be turned and we were then able to get the lamb out. Thankfully, it was alive after clearing its nose and giving it a quick swing (swinging it helps to remove the mucus from its nose and allows it to breathe.)
It would have been a fairly traumatic birth for the ewe, however, if we hadn’t
intervened the lamb would have got stuck and shocked to death and it would have been a very long and painful labour for the ewe.