Friday, March 18, 2011

plus three

I have tried to sit down and write an update multiple times in the last few days, but the demands on my time have been too much. First the little ram lamb had indigestion issues yesterday, and I spent most of the day and night trying to convince him to eat and dosing him with Peptobismol (not his favorite flavor) in almost equal measure.

Keeping warm in their little fleece coats

Then the black ewe lamb decided she would help us out with Holly's mastitis issue, provided that we hold Holly still for her. So I have spent a fair amount of time doing just that.

The laundry left over from two lambings this week needed to be attended to... I'll have to address why that takes so long in a future post, but it is more pioneer than you might suspect.

We are shearing tomorrow, and I needed to cook for our most helpful shearing crew, so there was that.

And then in the middle of all this, Henrietta decided that she would follow the calendar, and go ahead and lamb today after all. She has spent quite a bit of the last few days gazing thoughtfully into the corner, so I wasn't sure if she would stay on schedule or not.

Secondo came out at 5:30 pm and found this little guy:

Yes, he's spotted -- never had one like this before!

Then we waited. And waited. And waited. We were 99% sure that he wasn't the only one in there, and pretty sure that we spotted a hoof just a little way back in the birth canal, but Henrietta refused to lay down and push, and she was not having any contractions that we could see. She just kept turning in circles, and taking care of her demanding little spotted ram lamb.

We were thoroughly confused, but finally decided we had to bit the bullet and go in. Primo and I forcibly laid her on her side, and my LSH went exploring -- and found two different lambs, all tangled up. She wasn't pushing because neither one had progressed far enough into the birth canal to trigger that reflex. With amazing quick thinking, he untangled them, got the first one out (a silver ewe lamb) and pulled the second one out (a huge ram lamb, that was breech).

All three on their feet: from left to right, #2 ewe, #3 ram and #1 ram

It was bedlam as we worked on both lambs to get them going. We were very lucky that the 4-H member from the last birth had come back with her mom. It was all hands on deck to deal with all those lambs and the ewe. The ewe lamb was unresponsive, probably due to all that time waiting to be born. My LSH to the rescue again with some mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She is definitely still the weakest of the three and -- no surprise here -- we are having to supplement her at the moment. That's OK, we are in the barn every three hours anyway, what's another bottle to bring along?

1 comment:

  1. Egads! Thanks for keeping it real Kris. I think my two angora bunnies will be just enough fiber after all. Best of luck!