This spring, #1201 had a bad heartbreak when she lost both of her lambs.
This morning when the man let all of the sheep out of the barn, she stayed behind and was going to lamb. We were nervous how everything would go with her. She is the dearest, sweetest ewe, and will walk right up to me to be petted, which none of our other ewes do.
She came in and out of the barn a few times, then settled in there and lay down. Luit noticed that there was only one foot coming out, which is a bad sign. A lamb, calf, kid, foal… has to come out of the birth canal with both front feet and the nose (or both back feet if they are breech.) He came to get me as she was struggling to have her baby.
When only one foot is showing, you have to reach inside the ewe and feel for the other leg, and pull it around. There is no way that the lamb can come out if one leg is backwards, and they both would die. The man’s hands are too big to reach inside her, so he held her and I reached deep inside and felt the leg that was bent backwards.
I have never had to do that before, and the only other time we had to assist a ewe giving birth was four years ago with Cosette, a first time ewe, and she was too small for her baby to pass and Natanielle was the only one with small enough hands to reach in and get the baby out. Cosette and her big lamb were just fine, and she has given us our best lambs. Her single ram lamb this spring was the finest of the group, and we kept him as our replacement ram.
this is Cosette two years ago, with her new born baby “Bill Parker.”
I could not get the leg to come forward, and the head and one leg were already pretty far out, so I had the push the lamb back inside best as I could and also reach for the backwards leg. Finally I was able to get both feet forward and the nose, but the lamb’s tongue was already hanging out of it’s mouth. The little feet were too slippery for me to pull both of them, so we both pulled and pulled and finally the little one came out, but was not breathing.
Luit hung it upside down by it’s back feet, and I cleaned off it’s nose so it could breathe, and we rubbed and rubbed it all over to get it to breath. By this time, the dear mom had given up, and was laying out flat and I thought she would die. Finally the baby started breathing and we put it by the mom’s head and she jumped up for joy and licked and licked her baby. Whew!
What a big beautiful lamb, and we were not sure if she had another one to go. As time went on, the baby was having trouble nursing, and it was getting colder. (it is about 5 degrees right now, and was -30 last night and tonight.)
We went inside to gather what we needed, and on our way back, some lambs gave us a trampoline show on top of our young ram, Cosette’s lamb of this spring, who did not seem to mind at all.
Nonny held the mom and I tried to get the baby to nurse, as there was ice on it’s ears and tail, but it was too weak to latch on and suck.
Plan B. Nonny got a baby blanket and put it in the drier so it would be warm, and wrapped it around the baby and held it under the heat lamp.
Luit held the mom while I milked her colostrum into a warm thermos and then I put the colostrum into a syringe (without the needle of course) and very slowly squirted it into the lambs mouth until it swallowed. It drank about 1 oz, and then Non kept the baby wrapped up on her lap under the heat lamp for about 30 minutes.
Baby started crying for mom, and Nonny let it go and it started nursing right away.
She is overjoyed with her baby.
Everyone is happy now.
We realized that this sweetest ewe was never named, so we are going to call her Callie, after the sweetest Callie there is.