Saturday, 28 March 2015

Good and Bad Lambing

Another two sets of twins have arrived at Milkweed. Gregor and L817 have lambed.

Gregor's lambing was the worst case scenario. In every way possible. I had to deliver both lambs because they were "hung up", i.e. head coming out but front legs backwards. Gregor had tried to push and by the time I assisted she was pretty tired.

Gregor is quite an old lady so she was a plain ewe and didn't hold her weight. In the last few weeks she's put everything she had into her twins. By the time she gave birth, poor Gregor was like a frame with wool covering. She couldn't stand. Her first lamb was weak and hypothermic, AND has entropion (a turned-in eyelid). I hot boxed this first one, while waiting on a chance to deliver the second -

Hot Box = recycling tub, hot water bottle wrapped in old towel, and hay (I was out of straw!)

Gregor and lambs went to the sheep ICU, which in this case is the stock trailer (You know, the one that doubles as a turkey house in the summer...). Then it was 48 hours of tube feeding lambs, worming and rehydrating Gregor, and worrying. I didn't think Gregor was going to live, so I put the lambs on a bottle. Gregor hasn't got energy to make enough milk so I will need to top up her babies for all their sakes.

This is Gregor this morning with both lambs -

She is finally able to stand, and discharged herself from ICU. I think she's self-medicating, picking ivy and weeds out of the hedgerow. I have my fingers crossed for her. A sheep that's stood up and eating has half a chance.

I checked on the rest of the flock at 5.30 this morning and found L817 with two healthy lambs on their feet and suckling. All I had to do was move the family into the nursery orchard with the other new moms.

I love the drama-free births.

There were almost no photos to show you as I managed to drop my phone in the toilet yesterday - a true 21st century problem. But I dried it out and it's working, which is lucky as I have all my lambing and livestock medical details stored on it. That will teach me to make backup copies.

Mike, Ian and I are all suffering with a spring cold that's making chores a little bit harder. My morning rounds, including lambing (if it's an easy one) take just over three hours. I come in for my breakfast just as Mike and Ian are heading out. The guys have started collecting pheasants eggs for hatching - yesterday is officially the start of this year's hatch season. The incubators have been serviced and will be fired up this week. There will be no shortage of babies to care for in the coming months.


Lilac Cottage Homestead said...

I'm so glad to see that your ewe Gregor is up and eating, that is a very good sign that she might make it!! I will pay that she does. I enjoy reading about your day,and all you do on your place. God bless.


Seester said...

First of all, "hot boxing" means something completely different in the U.S. (though I can imagine your postpartum ewes could use a little medical marijuana).
Secondly, poor L817 would probably be mortified if she knew you posted that picture of her post-birth hind end. Birthing is never a pretty business, is it?
So you are now six lambs for six. Good work! Only 32 to go!
Godspeed, and good health to beast and human alike.

Hazel said...

Poor Gregor- I hope she and her lambs continue to improve. Will the first lamb's eyelid sort itself out, or will it need treatment?
Is Matilda due to lamb this year?

Jennifer Montero said...

Hazel - I'm bottle feeding Gregor's lambs to take the pressure off of her body to make milk. That will go a long way to her recovery. The lambs still stay with mom for comfort of course.

Entropion won't sort itself out, but I can keep manipulating the eyelid to stay in place. If that doesn't work, I will use the same concept as lip filler: an injection to push out the eyelid. That will fix it. I have 2 lambs with entropion now. It's hereditary, carried by the ram, so I'm expecting more cases.

Matilda IS due to lamb. I will of course post baby 'Tilda pictures for you and the kids.