Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Stuck lambs

Around 4:30am I was awoke. My Mom, my brother and sister were up checking on a ewe, who had 2 very stuck lambs. They were both at least 10 lbs and both were trying to come out at once. No bueno.

Both lambs tongues were hanging to the side. The ewe was pretty exhausted.
My mom probably wouldn't have been strong enough. My brother doesn't have the experience, and the same for my sister. Plus both of them are a little "wimpy" when it comes to pulling kids and lambs out. So, I am the elected kid and lamb "puller".

Mom runs up the stairs and says, "Suriyah, wake up. We need your help. There are 2 dead lambs trying to come out at once."
I say, "Ok, I'm coming".
Under my breath tho I say "oh great".
Grab a sweatshirt, walk downstairs, get my boots. All the while praying that God would give me strength to do this.

By the time I get out there (just a couple minutes), one lamb's head had been pushed back but just barely. Of course, I know what to do. One lamb was a lot further down in the birth canal than the other. This ewe is huge, I mean huge, for a sheep. Which was a very good thing cause I had plenty of room to move things around.

First, I had to figure out whose legs were whose. That was pretty easy.

Next, with literally most of my strength, I had to go in, grab the top lamb's head and shove it back out of the birth canal. Of course, the ewe is contracting thru all of this making things that much harder. Once that lamb was out of the way, I was able to grab the dead lamb (whose head was pretty swollen from hanging out for awhile) and pull him out. He was large and dead. Had we found the problem sooner, we probably could have saved him. But, that didn't happen and such is life.

So, I flopped him to the side. Went back in and grabbed the 2nd "dead" lamb. Pulled her out and amazingly she was alive, but very floppy and lethargic (not surprising). We started rubbing on her, the ewe was licking her. She ended up being fine, it just took her awhile.

I look back a minute later and there was another lamb's head hanging out. Slipped that one out - another ewe lamb. She was very spunky, very much alive and well.

The ewe cannot stand. Probably birthing trauma. Hopefully she recovers. The crazy ewe lamb has learned to nurse off of her laying down mother. The other lamb is being bottle fed for now.

What a crazy morning.

Have a good evening everyone!


p.s. - this was typed on my iPod so please forgive any spelling errors.


Kris said...

Wow! Good thing you were there to help out. I wish you lived closer. I am getting ready for lambs here. I am so excited and a little apprehensive as well. These are Katahdin and their first lambs. And they are big girls! So hopefully they will be ok. I am getting some pallets and making lambing jugs for them.

So how many sheep do y'all have? And are these 2 ewe lambs the first so far? I would love to see some pictures of your sheep.

Good Goats said...

We have around 50 sheep (I think, LOL). These are not the first ones born this year. There have been 4 ewes that have lambed so far, 7 babies. 2 boys and 5 girls (alive).

I'll try to get some sheep pictures up here but for now you can head over to my sister's sheep blog -

Maggie Burnett said...

wow sounds interesting! My sister and I were at my Grandparents farm, they have some really heavy cows that have problems birthing pretty often.. so My sister and I got to pull to calves.. it's pretty fun, but I always feel so sorry for the mommy's. =S Thanks for the posts! I love to read them! Keep 'em coming! :)

Diaryblogger said...

It must be hard to get used to working under that pressure and so close to death, especially when you have to wake up at 4:30 AM to do it! Good job. How wonderful that one of the lams was saved thanks to your hard work and diligence.

Good Goats said...

Thank you all for the comments!

I am actually used to working under pressure in that kind of situation because I've grown up in this type of environment. Been helping pull kids and that type of thing since I was 10 years old or so. So yes, at times it can be a bit trying but I'm pretty used to it by now ;).

Now waking up at 4am to pull a dead lamb - yeah, not exactly what I like to wake up to, haha ;).