Wednesday, June 24, 2009
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