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Author Topic: My first experience of lambing  (Read 2995 times)


  • Joined Jul 2010
  • Orpingtons and assorted Sheep
My first experience of lambing
« on: April 22, 2011, 10:17:27 pm »
Well after not knowing wether the borrowed rams had indeed done the deed :-\ :-\

Obviously the 'old' tup did get atleast one of my five in lamb. He arrived on 25th of November and she lambed on the 20th April.

being very much a novice with sheep/lambing etc (but having had horses had foaled several mares) I did pick up the udder enlarging and her vulva becoming large and pink.  She is a very scatty - don't handle me Welsh black.  Due to this hot weather she had been laying down a lot in the shade - plus not eating very much - so had kept an eye on her in the last couple of days.
Wednesday was extremly hot - she was okay at 2pm up and browsing in the shade - I went off to do some gardening... checking her periodically all seen well - though led down under the trees in her favorite spot - NO straining putting her head back, turning round etc.  Checked her again at 5pm she was stood up and I could see from a distance she had 'strings' from her rear end. (She was out with the other ewes...more of this further on)  Knowing how distrustful she is I didn't want to get to close as she didn't seem stressed at this point - following the advice in Tim Tyne's book 'go and have a cup of tea'  went back after 10 minutes to find all the ewes surronding her and the 'Suffolk girls' butting her quite agressively!!! So after a struggle managed to get them into the adjacent paddock, leaving her on her own, but now having got closer to her I could see that the 'strings' didn't look clear... Being a novice and never having seen a ewe lamb I wasn't sure if it 'was' normal or 'not'.   I went off down to a 'lady sheep farmer' just down the lane - she came back up with me to have a look and said for us to get her into the barn - already prepared with a straw bed/pen.
My friend quietly examined her and was most concerned as she said there was a 'ring' in the uterus - she then explained that the 'ring' should soften and expand allowing the lambs to be born.  I was more than happy to get the vet in but Vanuagh said she would try to maniplute the 'ring' by gently streching her fingers inside the ewe - she was on her knees for 20 mins or so when she withdrew her hand it was very bloody - but she said there was a lamb there. The ewe was not pushing so Vanaugh had to pull the lamb - as I said it had to come out whatever 'dead or alive' after another half hour the nose and front feet showed and a lamb was born - quite small but a live - breathing and holding it's head up the ewe nuzzling and licking it, making small mewing noises to it.  within ten minutes it was on it's little feet and finding the milk bar - though it did seem to think it was at the front and not the back ::) But there was a lot of mucky blood that came out with the lamb...Not so good...
My friend said she thought there was another lamb, but best to let her settle a bit with this lamb and see if the next one came naturally  She went back home to check on her own flock.
I got a chair and sat and watched the ewe and her new lamb.   My friend was back within half an hour - the ewe was now restless and pawing the ground turning round - lying down - getting up - moaning etc   Vanuagh thought she had better see what was happening and as she went to feel inside a nose and just one foot started to appear - she gently felt inside but couldn't find the other leg she gently pulled the lamb(though I could see it was quite a battle) and another bigger live lamb was born, this time clear fluid - Vanuagh said that was how the first one should have been.
She gave the ewe a peniccillin injection.
As Vanuagh said 'not' the best start for me in keeping ewes and lambing - without her I would possible lost both the ewe and the lambs as they couldn't have come naturally and although I would have called in the vet I might have been too late.
Now I have two georgous lambs and a mother ewe who dotes on them.  I let them out for the day today in the sun where they skipped about with a watchful mum calling them back.  It's wonderful to see them both drinking with little tails wriggling - though I did have to wash a bum before I let them out.  They have come back in for another night as we have had a heavy storm and being so small don't want Mr Fox to get them.
Lets hope the next one is more straight forward and that I shall cope on my one, but it's good to know that just down the road is a wonderful 'new' friend who will be there for me and my girls.
You are never to old to learn something new


  • Joined Jan 2010
Re: My first experience of lambing
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2011, 10:56:45 pm »
No better way to learn than straight in the deep end!  Glad it all turned out well.  The issue with the ewe is known as ringwomb.  I think it is always best to a have a friendly shepherd on hand and they are generally more experienced than the vets with this kind of thing.


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • France
Re: My first experience of lambing
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2011, 08:00:22 am »
not a good start to your lambing, but thankfully you had a very good neighbour on hand, but no better sight than a live lamb being born and then in a matter of minutes getting up on their feet to feed, its just what this time of year means, new life. :love:
Well done all round and here's hoping the next ones go more easily for you.  :hshoe:


  • Joined Sep 2009
  • Wales
Re: My first experience of lambing
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2011, 07:41:40 am »
Now your new friend has shown you how to assist a birth it maybe an idea to ask if you can help her if she is still lambing as you really need to know what you are feeling for when assisting. When I was a child I helped grandpa but by the time we could get our own it was a distance memory so I went to a lambing course to refresh and the woman there was amazing and talked us very clearly through an assisted lambing she was doing and she had great training aids. 1 piece of info that she gave us had stuck with my OH and it helped save a lamb this year when it was breech.


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • "Possibilities and miracles mean the same thing"
Re: My first experience of lambing
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2011, 08:44:25 am »
Hi Dyedinthewool  :wave:

Well done -- you acted promptly and the story ended with a very happy ending :D.
Any piccies of your new lambies?

« Last Edit: April 24, 2011, 11:38:55 am by Tilly »


  • Joined Jan 2010
    • Allt Y Coed Farm and Campsite
Re: My first experience of lambing
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2011, 02:03:47 pm »
Wow what an episode, isnt it nice to know a 'friend' - we have a neighbour too here who has helped so so many times - its not only comforting to have people around you like them but its also invaluable.

So glad it all turned out right and you have some lovely little lambies :)



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