Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lambing Finale

Last Wednesday things were not looking good when I got to the sheep field and saw that Lumina was in labor but there was no sign of a waterbag or lamb feet. She continued to push with no progress. I've seen this once before and I ended up having to pull out dead lambs... That experience, as traumatic as it was for both myself and the poor ewe involved (who recovered fine, quickly became one of my buddies again and had problem-free twins the next year), did give me knowledge of what to look for.. I also had some hands on experience so that I was not a complete mess.
I was going to spare you the gory details, but since it might help someone, I'll include them.. I'm giving you fair warning... if you're squeamish, you can skip to the end for the photos now!.... I had just been hand shearing some llamas the day before and I had developed a blister on my right hand, which then got torn off due to more irritation from the scissors' handle.. So I had this open wound on my right hand, and that didn't seem sanitary for either of us.. I ran in to the feed store and bought some OB sleeves, which in theory seems like a great idea, but I decided that with the lack of ability to know what I'm feeling at my fingertips, I would be better off using my left hand. The major mental obstacle I encountered the first time, was that I was convinced that my hand was not going to fit in there.. but I have fairly small hands, so I'm actually better candidate for this job than even my vet. I found what felt like a nose or a hoof but it seemed to be behind a wall.. Since I was not wearing a glove, I could feel with my fingertips to discover that this was the waterbag. I was able to break it open using my fingernails (which I also would have been unable to do wearing glove). I found one hoof and nose.. So I tried pulling the lamb with just one foot forward, as this has worked before. I soon discovered that this was not going to work, the lamb was stuck and I became concerned that I was pulling two different lambs.. I went back in and followed the lamb's leg up to it's shoulder and head and found that the nose and foot were from the same lamb. I found the other foot and pulled it forward. The lamb then came out easily. It's a musket yuglet flecket ram. Lumina was great throughout the whole ordeal and readily accepted him.. Due to the trauma, I gave her a shot of penicillin, vitamin B and calcium gluconate. Both mom and son are doing great and are now out on pasture. That's it for lambing in 2009!
Sire: Locksfield Montague (Monty) Dam: Locksfield Lumina

Monday, June 15, 2009

Evangeline's Lamb

Evangeline had a very uneventful birth a little before 1 AM, without my help.. She produced this gorgeous little girl that was hopping around and playing within an hour of being born. She is a yuglet sokket, maybe flecket... I'm not sure yet if she's black or grey.

Sire: Locksfield Joaquin ......... Dam: Locksfield Evangeline

Updated photo of Morgan's lambs:

This ewe runs to greet me and loves being picked up and held.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First lambs of 2009

Friday was an eventful day at Locksley Fields. Lambing for the year was halfway over within a matter of hours and at the end of the day, I, despite being covered in lambing goo, was not the least bit displeased with the results :-)

Pandora was the first show signs of impending labor. That morning she wouldn't come to the feeder for grain. I had resigned myself to the likelyhood that I would need to assist in most of the births this year. The ewes are all 3 year olds lambing for the first time.. plus they went into winter looking very well fed and came out of it looking equally so.. I decided to help when I saw that the lamb's little white feet and nose were sticking out, but so was his tongue. It's a good thing that Pandora and most of the others are friendly and more willing to allow me to get up close, because the last thing I want to do when I'm assisting a birth is to try to first catch a skittish laboring ewe.
I straightened the lamb's legs out, one at a time, so that the “elbows” weren't back with the shoulders.. This makes more space for a stuck lamb. He was a big guy, but eventually he made it out.

This is the most heavily spotted (most white) lamb I've had so far.. It's a moorit yuglet flecket ram. Sire: Locksfield Joaquin Dam: Locksfield Pandora

Within 2 hours of Pandora lambing, Morgance (aka Morgan), was in labor.. This lamb was exactly in exactly the same situation as Pandora's, and so I helped again. The result was a moorit yuglet flecket ewe! Morgan soon had two waterbags, which meant that another lamb was coming. When she started pushing, I discovered that the lamb's entire head was inside of the fluid-filled water bag.. I don't think I've ever had this before... I tore the bag open to free his head so that he wouldn't aspirate fluid and tried to wipe off his nose, all while just his head and feet were out. He was smaller than the other two and Morgan did fine the rest of the way. This lamb is a moorit smirslet ram. These lambs are from Locksfield Joaquin and Locksfield Morgance. They are friendly, especially the ewe.. She has a white side and a flashy side and looks just like Pandora's ram from the white side.