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Author Topic: Breach births  (Read 1799 times)

Helen Wiltshire Horn

  • Joined Apr 2014
Breach births
« on: April 10, 2016, 08:50:47 pm »
Funny how one year everything goes smoothly and another year lots of issues crop up and nothing is straightforward.  This year from my flock of 9 we have had one with hypocalcaemia which needed the vet to induce it as she didn't recover fully.  We also had surprise triplets (the ewe was scanned for a single) and most recently 3 breach births.  In the case of the first breach birth, I called a friend who is training to be a vet and by the time he arrived the lamb was half out and so I quickly eased it out.  After swinging it to try and clear the mucus it was fine.  Today, I had an experienced ewe who was scanned for a single and who usually has big singles.  When I finally managed to catch her, all I could see was a tail and as speed was of the essence landed up delivering it breach but it was sadly dead.  When I managed to get her penned, I checked internally and found a second lamb very far back and rather than turning it delivered it breach.  The second one survived and so at least the ewe has one lamb and I am trying not to go over everything too much in my mind.  I know that with the benefit of hindsight we should have checked the ewe before but I just couldn't catch her and the last time I did, there were no signs that she was imminent.  Anyway, can anyone suggest why so many have been malpresentations this year?  The ram is the same one and I am doing exactly the same as I have done the last two years (this is only my third year of lambing).  What do others do in the case of breach births?  I think that my ewes are quite roomy inside but then I don't have anything to compare it to.  Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.  I am worn out and frankly a bit stressed by the feeling of enormous responsiblity this year! 
Helen
Voss Electric Fence

TheSmilingSheep

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Breach births
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 10:31:18 pm »
I'm really sorry, I don't have any advice - have about same level of experience as you, but so far no breach births... but just sending you hugs....  :hug: :hug: as you deal with the (inevitable) stress and responsibility.... I certainly know those feelings!
I'm discovering the curse of sheep - can't live with them, and can't seem to live without...all of a sudden!
Good luck, though!!

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Breach births
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 12:51:51 am »
This happened with me a breached birth, turned out the ewe had ringwomb as the cervix was tight and when I tried to pull the lamb out I found it was twisted and the womb kept moving around with it. Had to get a professional to do it for me. First lamb dead and second one alive
but upside down in the womb, we think thats why the first one was breached; dont know for certain though. First lambing from that ewe, same ram as last year, not his daughter, looks like both mother snd daughter will go for the chop when older.
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Breach births
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 11:12:13 am »
You did exactly what you should do.  :thumbsup: You can't push a breech back in, you need to get the hind legs (making sure they're connected to the tail, not another lamb) and deliver it as quickly as possible (in case it inhales when still inside), then check for and deliver any other lambs that are stuck behind - because they could have been waiting some time.

I think you get a 6th sense eventually when something's not quite right - BH certainly has one and I am learning to not ignore my intuition.  But when you're starting out, every one is different, and you can end up intervening too soon, rather than the converse. 

Don't beat yourself up, it happens.  :hug:

Reading your post again, the only thing you could possibly consider is whether you can make an area in which you can catch ewes more easily if you need to, that's easy to drive them into, and get them used to going in there, so you can catch one more easily if you think there's a problem.  But I have to say, many of us lambing outdoors have situations in which we can't catch a ewe that doesn't want caught.  I certainly do, with my fleece flock; there are all sorts of bits of woodland, hillocky bits I can't navigate on the quad nor run on, places they can dodge. 

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Breach births
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 12:20:11 pm »
This is why we :trophy: should design a dart gun for sheep which stuns them so you can move in and grab them, the effect would be made to last only a few mins and wouldn't be in the slightest bit harmful to the lambs. :trophy:
the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, loving concern.

Helen Wiltshire Horn

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Breach births
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2016, 12:25:44 pm »
Indeed!  A sheep stun-gun would be great.  I feed them twice daily and so they get used to coming up to an area and having their cake.  I think that I should have tried to get her penned as soon as I had an inkling that she was going to lamb shortly.  But then I only have two made-up pens as I want to keep the rest of the field shelter free for the others to shelter out of the rain.  We are building a permanent race so might be able to shoo a labouring ewe into there with enough people.  The only problem is that they are off their food when lambing and mine get a bit skittish if disturbed.    I am feeling a bit better today and thanks for your replies - nice to know that I am not alone!
Helen

Helen Wiltshire Horn

  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Breach births
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2016, 12:37:53 pm »
One more question!  Can you examine a ewe internally and deliver a lamb with her standing up?  When I finally caught the ewe as I was on my own the only way I could restrain her is by tying the base of her horns to the fence.  I tried to tip her and then lay her on her side but she is a good 20kgs heavier than me and wasn't having any of it! 

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: Breach births
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2016, 12:57:48 pm »
Depending on the presentation I often prefer to do it with them standing - there's more room for manoeuvre.  And if on my own I've been known to tie them at the head (no horns here so I used a figure of eight dog halter which just happened to be in my pocket!)

Spookily we have never known a "tail out" situation before (yes coming backwards but never as far as just the tail sticking out), and then we had 2 in the same day!  One survived, one didn't.  I think its very easy for the cord to break if its tangled around the legs.
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Breach births
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2016, 01:13:07 pm »
I much prefer to deliver with the ewe standing, if she will. 

We had a real muddle of lambs in a commercial ewe this year, and she was none too roomy.  BH got the vet, thinking it may need to be a Caesarian.  Vet was thinking Caesar too, but then tried it with the ewe wheelbarrowed over a straw bale, which let gravity help get the lambs back into the womb, giving more room to sort out the tangle - and managed to get them sorted and delivered.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

verdifish

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • banffshire
Re: Breach births
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 02:19:55 pm »
This is why we :trophy: should design a dart gun for sheep which stuns them so you can move in and grab them, the effect would be made to last only a few mins and wouldn't be in the slightest bit harmful to the lambs. :trophy:

Yep. I'm just of to the workshop to make a lottery numbers predicting magic wand. Once I've done this I'll see about that stun gun.......

 

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