Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What a clever girl

Saturday mornings are always busy as Dave has to help feed the sheep and then get off to the Farmers Market, while I stay and be midwife.
As Dave was putting hay in the hay rakes I was making the rounds checking that everyone was ok, but when I came across Twinie I say two little hooves that where most definately the wrong way round for a normal birth.
I shouted for Dave and got to work straight away and the lamb came out (breach) before Dave got to us, alive and coughing. As Twinie was so big and has had to have a helping hand to get up in a morning I knew that one lamb was out of the question, carefully I felt for another lamb, oh no front leg is down, I slowly moved the lamb so both legs where correct and that was twin boys. But I had felt more than 4 feet in there so another feel round and the third arrived, breach again.
That is it I said to Dave lets help her dry these little guys and get to the market, all the time watching Cappo making a nest in the corner of the barn, I will be back to check on you I said to her as I finished up the chores.
Two hours later Cappo had triplets and needed no help from me apart from a little drying, I then went to do a second check on Twinie to make sure she had all three under control and they where all feeding and to my suprise she had given birth to a fourth lamb, a girl, tiny, wet but alive. It has been touch and go with the girl and she needs help at feeding time as the two big boys clam the milk but the other two are now doing well.

Twinie having a rest
Cappo looking after the four triplets and one of her own, unfortunately one of Cappo's died in the night, the first 24hrs of life are always critical and some lambs just forget to breathe just like some babys.
Lambs at play


Friday, March 1, 2013

One Member of the team down

It all started Wednesday morning with one of the yearling ewes starting to make signs of going into labour. So for the rest of the day I was backwards and forward to the barn and she didn't progress very far, which is quite normal for a first timer. At 4pm she looked closer and by the time Dave got home I was getting more worried about her, so I gave her a quick examine and decided she was better left alone.
I had said that I would fasten up the chicken house but the hens had not gone to bed so I left and went up to the house to get supper ready, the evening progressed with around of visits to the barn with still now signs of lambs.
At 8pm I remembered the chickens and set off with Sam and Giz( the dogs)  to close up the coupe, on entering the chicken run I found chickens in the snow looking startled and upset, I gathered up two and followed a frantic Sam to the coupe, where I found him with a critter. Pushing the two chucks in to the coupe I ran back to the house for Dave and his gun.
On getting back to the coupe we found Sam still had the critter and we gathered up the rest of the girls, Dave shot the opossum.
 As we went back to the house we saw the Sam was limping on his front leg, A close inspection shows a swollen knee, I think he most of slipped on the ice while catching the opossum.
 So he is having ice packs and rest my brave little guy and all my chucks are safe.
But the night didn't finish there our little yearling decided that she was going to lamb ( not very well) at 3am and at 5am I called the vet, the lambs where both backwards and both dead. The vet could not say why they died, but twins that get taffled together sometimes damage the placenta and die.
The good news is that she is doing well,as you can see and we are milking her and freezing the milk so I have good colostrum milk on hand.

Even better news one of the older ewes had triplets this morning,(that colostrum milk may get used ), this is the last one born a girl bearly 20 minutes old.

The other girl and her brother heading for milk.
Lastly Millies little one a couple of days old but already getting in to mischief.