Diary

Lambing 2015 - week two to the endRSS feed

Posted: Monday 13 April, 2015

by Rosemary at 10:06am in Sheep No comments Add your own

So at the end of week one, we had seven ewes lambed, fifteen lambs; one single, two triplets and four twins; nine tups and six ewes. Eight are still to lamb, six with twins and two sets of triplets. According to the raddle marks, five are due in week two plus Smudge, who was due in week one but hadn’t obliged.

Monday 2am, Niamh lambed two ewe lambs. The first one had the head back and I had a bit of a panic, because I wasn’t sure I had the right head for the legs. I phoned the vet – I don’t tend to mess around - then had another try and the head slipped into place and the lamb was safely delivered. I had to phone the vet to say all was well. Following the calf abortion that never was, I’ll be starting to get a reputation ☺. The second was presenting normally, so I left her to get on with it while I tailed Trixie and Twinkle’s lambs and dosed the ewes, ready for turnout in the morning. Niamh’s a great mum; this is her fourth lambing. Previously she’s had a single, twins and a single. Her twins from two years ago, Tansy and Treacle, are lambing for the first time this year.

I’m still a bit worried about Penny but don’t want to pre-empt a problem. I have the prolapse spoon at the ready though.

Tuesday Tilly has had two ewe lambs; one has entropion in one eye, but it seems to be coming right. Both were normal presentations but a bit of a squeeze for a first-timer. Smudge finally obliged with two ewe lambs. First one had a leg back but the second was a normal presentation. One has entropion in both eyes but again, it’s getting better.

Penny is still hanging on to her bits. She’s due in a week, so fingers tightly crossed. If she prolapses, I’ll have to cull her and she’s a nice ewe.

I was cross with myself today; looking at the lambs with a friend, I noticed one had a grey eye. On examination, it had very slight entropion. I must have turned it out too soon. I marked it with orange crayon on its head so that I could keep an eye on it (I sorted the eye immediately) but of course, crayon on the head rubs off on the ewe when the lamb feeds. Duh. So last thing, I couldn’t find him.

Wednesday Found the lamb with the non-orange head; the eye is fine this morning. Marked him on his back with crayon. Tilly’s lambs and Smudge’s lambs are doing well. Smudge’s lamb with the bad eyes is now OK in one and the other is almost there. Tilly’s is fine. I’ll weigh and tail the lambs this afternoon and dose the two ewes, ready for going out on Thursday.

Five left to lamb; ten lambed, twenty one lambs; nine tups and twelve ewes (much to Dan’s disgust).

Thursday: Tilly, Smudge and their lambs were let out today. I’ve marked the one with the bad eyes so that I can keep checking, but it seems to be ok now.

Friday: Went out at 6am to find Sweetpea with her twins – one good sized ewe and a weeny tup. How’s that, then? Both were up and around but I’m keeping a good eye on the wee one, so that he doesn’t get pushed off by his much bigger sister. Both had a touch of entropion but by teatime, they seemed to be fixed. These are Sweetpea’s second crop of lambs – she had twins last year too.

Penny is still hanging on to her lady parts. I do hope she lasts until she lambs.

Stella lambed triplets Friday night. Two ewes and a tup – one we lamb is a decent size, the other two are weeny but very lively. It’s bizarre – Lucy had three 4kg+ lambs and didn’t look pregnant; Stella has three teenies ad was vast. Heyho.

Saturday Sweetpea’s lambs are fine and out in Sheepfold.

Sunday A couple of lame lambs in Sheepfold – no swelling or other symptoms, so I guess they’ve just been playing rough. I’ve marked them so that I can monitor progress – if they don’t start getting better in 24 hours, I’ll contact the vet.

Stella and her teeny triplets are out in the “garden” of the caravan. There’s lots of grass and shelter and I just want to be sure that they’re robust enough to go out with the “mob”.

Monday 2am check and Penny has prolapsed past he spoon; got the vet out and he put a stitch in. It’s rather clever – 6mm tape put in like a drawstring, so it can be opened and closed to check for lambing. She’s due on Tuesday; vet says we may have a ringwomb because of the poor muscle tone.

At the same time, Teazle had a ewe lamb and a tup lamb. Just two left to go.

Stella’s tinies hide under the caravan – it’s bone dry and sheltered. Drives Stella mad, because she can’t see them ☺

2pm Treacle starts lambing. From the raddle mark, I thought she was due next week. She has twin ewes; bit of a squeeze but normal presentations. She’s a good mum with lots of milk.

Penny hanging in there, getting regular doses of Liquid LifeAid and sub cutaneous calcium. All these things I’ve had in the lambing box for seven years, I finally get to use. Should I be glad?

Away from sheep, Dan collected out forty new laying hens – a mix of Rhode Rocks with a scattering of White Leghorns. They’re 17 weeks old. And they know how to go to bed at night and how to perch. Result.

Tuesday 2am I think Penny’s lambing although I can’t feel any lambs. Call the vet; she is lambing but the cervix isn’t opening fast or far, and starts to tear. We decide to do a C Section. First lamb, a ewe, born alive and robust. Second lamb, a tup, is alive but we can’t get it to breathe. Although she scanned with triplets, the vet can’t locate a third lamb so we assume that the scanner was mistaken (first time ever) or Penny’s lost / reabsorbed a lamb. Both lambs out are a good size. The live one is up and suckling but Penny’s a bit shabby, so I give the lamb artificial colostrum as well.

By lunchtime, Penny’s eating and drinking. The lamb is suckling but mainly I’m bottle feeding her, which she doesn’t really like. She’s never very hungry and I suspect she’s feeding from her mother when we’re not there.

That’s lambing now finished – fifteen ewes to the tup; all in lamb and scanned with thirty three lambs. Thirty one live lambs born; nineteen ewes and twelve tups. Fingers crossed for Penny.

Wednesday On the advice of our vet, I’m encouraging the lamb – named Pesky Wabbit – to suckle. This will release oxytocin in the ewe, helping the uterus to contract. It also helps with the maternal bond. Penny not looking quite as chipper as she was.

Teazle and Treacle are out and about with their lambs and I’ve started to clear down the lambing shed.

Thursday  Pesky Wabbit is a very enthusiastic feeder and Penny seems to have plenty milk, so I’m feeling happy. The uterine contractions are quite violent. At 10am, I go to feed the lamb and there’s the head of a long dead lamb sticking out of Penny. Vet out, lamb removed and ABs and Painkillers administered. Not sure how easy it is to miss a lamb during a C Section – it was a big lamb c 4kg. Penny seems better – not surprising really – and I’ve had a chat with one of the partners in the vet practice, at his request. It was one of the associates that dealt with Penny.

Obviously, we won’t breed from Penny again. I’m hoping to find a pet home for her, because she’s still young, has a lovely fleece and is a very friendly ewe.

Friday Penny and Pesky Wabbit are out in the vegetable garden. It’s sheltered and there’s some nice grass for them. They go in a little hurdle pen at night, for safety. The lamb seems fine. Penny is OK, She’s not eating much and has no interest in cake or coarse mix, or even oatcakes.

Stella and her teenies are now out in Sheepfold. Although small, they’re feisty and are running and playing with the rest.

Sunday Giving Penny some natural yogurt by syringe. She’s still OK but seems a bit depressed. Will phone the vet tomorrow to see if she needs more ABs.

 

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