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Author Topic: One leg back today  (Read 437 times)

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
One leg back today
« on: March 08, 2021, 03:29:37 pm »
Had my first proper misrepresentation today. One leg and head coming and leg back. Bit nervous and had an initial ďI canít do itĒ moment but persevered. I could feel the bone of her pelvis but it was hard to get through this opening passed the lambís body. I think the leg may have been alongside the body as opposed to bent at the pelvis area as had to go a bit deeper to find it. Cupped hoof in my hand and then kind of manipulated it forwards, slightly pushing into the lambís body instead of into her internal wall. Does this sound like Iíve done it the right way? Should I have pushed the lamb back behind the pelvis?? Got both feet and head and then pulled lamb out. Was a bit slow to go but is alive and sucking. I gave it a dose of kickstart for good measure. Iíve read lots of descriptions and seen plenty of diagrams but itís so different when youíre trying to do it.
Apparently this is the easiest misrepresentation you can get  ??? :-[

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2021, 03:50:21 pm »
Yep sounds like you did it right  :excited:  if you canít reach through the pelvis then yes push it back in, although I had a ewe last week which was too far out and I ended up pulling the lamb with 1 leg. Luckily she had plenty of room but not advisable.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2021, 04:41:53 pm »
Well done!  Sounds like you did the right thing and got a live lamb :thumbsup:.  It's a good feeling when they take their first breath, isn't it!  o

With a lamb with chunky shoulders, like a commercial Texel for instance, it can be tough to bring them through with one leg back, but it often works fine with narrower shoulders.   Having said which, if the lamb has narrow shoulders you can probably reach the missing leg fairly easily, lol.

No you shouldn't need to push it back in for one leg back, only for head only.  But you wouldn't do any harm pushing it back if it felt like the best thing to you at the time.  It can be better to do something which will work more quickly than to faff on trying to do what the book says, but taking longer about it. ;).  Especially if there is another lamb waiting behind.

With one leg back, I will often have a gentle pull to see if the lamb will come easily with just the one leg forward.  But I have a lot of experience and would know the type of sheep I am lambing, the tup, how chunky the shoulders are likely to be, and whether it's a good idea to try this or not.  So for a beginner it is probably safer to do as you did and see if you can get the other leg to come forward. 

To get the second leg forward, I think my technique is usually to slide my fingers around the lamb's chest on the side where I don't have a foot.  I can often find the knee of the missing leg before I get all the way to the hoof, and I can usually hook my index finger around the knee and bring the leg forward from there.  I usually don't need to get my whole hand past the lamb's head and shoulders to do this.  As the foot arrives I can cup the hoof to make sure it doesn't scrape the lining of the birth canal as I complete the straightening of the leg - although they do have soft caps over the hooves when they're born, so it's unlikely to cause any damage anyway, as long as you're being gentle.

With very chunky lambs, needing a pull when they get to the shoulders, I find that it can be helpful to fully extend the shoulders one at a time - pull one leg forwards (gently but firmly, as always) so that the shoulder on that side extends, and then the same with the other leg.  This makes the shoulders narrower so that they pass through the narrowest point more easily. 

Doing the same with the leg you've got - extending the shoulder on that side, before fetching the second leg forwards - can make a bit more room for reaching and capturing the missing foot / knee.  But don't bring the whole lamb forwards this way unless you are certain there is room for the shoulders with the second leg still back - you could get into a wedged situation if there isn't.




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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2021, 05:57:21 pm »
Well done all i would add is when you get your hand through the pelvis then keep going down the neck to the shoulder then follow the leg down to the foot so you are 100% sure it belongs to that lamb and not its twin , one head and 2 legs from 2 lambs  even sticking out the vagina is not unknown and a leg back inside the womb can be laid right down the side of the body
« Last Edit: March 08, 2021, 07:12:23 pm by shep53 »

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2021, 10:22:09 pm »
Thank you! I am pleased I did it. When pulling the legs forward I should pull one forward and then the other, not pull them together?
And if it was head only Iíd have to push that back behind the pelvis before finding the legs? Itís a strange feeling putting your hand through that gap! I was afraid of doing damage.
These are my Hill Radnors and from a Hill Radnor tup so nothing too chunky thank goodness!
Using Shepís example, if you had a head and leg from one, and one leg from another, would you push back the odd leg and find the missing one that matches the head? I have a couple of good lambing/sheep books but I donít feel like I have the luxury of time to go and work it out first before doing it!

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2021, 11:03:25 pm »
Thank you! I am pleased I did it. When pulling the legs forward I should pull one forward and then the other, not pull them together?

That's what I do, after lambing Texels for a few years ;)  Just once, at the start, when you are getting ready to deliver the lamb.  From thereon keep drawing on both legs together and evenly.  You don't keep going one leg and then the other.

if it was head only Iíd have to push that back behind the pelvis before finding the legs? Itís a strange feeling putting your hand through that gap! I was afraid of doing damage.


Often by the time you get to a head-only presentation, the head is quite swollen and you have no choice but to push it back into the womb where there is a lot more room to find the front legs.

Itís a strange feeling putting your hand through that gap! I was afraid of doing damage.


Keep your nails short, use lots of lube (and clean hands, with fresh surgical gloves if you can), and don't be rough.  I think a woman just knows how much pressure she can use ;).  Watching some male shepherds makes me wince!  :o

Using Shepís example, if you had a head and leg from one, and one leg from another, would you push back the odd leg and find the missing one that matches the head? I have a couple of good lambing/sheep books but I donít feel like I have the luxury of time to go and work it out first before doing it!

At your level of experience, if you have two legs that aren't the same lamb, or aren't both front legs (or both back legs if it's a breech), first call the vet.  By all means keep trying while the vet is on their way, and if you do manage to get them sorted you can cancel the vet.  But it takes a lot of experience to sort out a tangle.

I've assisted literally hundreds of lambs being born.  Proper tangles are rare and always a challenge.  These days I usually give myself maybe 5 minutes to see if I can fathom it, then get someone standing by ready to call the vet.  If I am not making progress after another few minutes, I get my pal to call the vet, while I keep trying, unless the ewe is starting to dry out and it's not coming right quickly, in which case I stop messing and wait for the vet.

You can't have a recipe because every tangle is different.  So knowing your lamb anatomy is key; being able to tell a nose from an ear and an ear from a tail; a front leg from a back leg; knowing whether the upside down hoof means an upside down lamb or a lamb coming backwards.

A good rule of thumb is to never pull a lamb forwards unless you have traced toe - up leg to shoulder - up the neck to the head - down the other shoulder and leg to the other toe.  (Or back legs, rump and tail if it's coming backwards.) 

I learned a lot of what I know from living and working with a third generation Cumbrian hill farmer for 7 years.  He lambed 250+ chunky commercial ewes to chunky commercial tups every year, had been lambing that many and more for 40 years, and he didn't hesitate to call the vet to a lambing if it was other than straightforwards.  Even with all his experience.  Much more likely to end up with 2 healthy live lambs and a ewe fit to rear them, he'd say.

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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Dumfries & Galloway
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2021, 11:15:02 am »
If your local vet offers lambing courses then its a good start .  I learned a long time ago that time is your friend , i would phone the vet for a difficult lambing and and then when he arrived maybe half an hour later the lamb would inevitably just slip out . For you a head out especially if swollen is probably a vet job

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: One leg back today
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2021, 11:40:30 am »
Sally makes a good point- if you donít progress within 10 minutes, call on someone to help. Iíve had a couple of lambings like this this year- the first was a right lamb jumble where we got the first out after some manipulation, but the second was coming 3 legs no head, it took the vet a while to get it sorted, by which point the lamb had died. We probably spent too long trying to get lamb out before the vet arrived. But the ewe was ok and the first lamb was too.


The second was a maiden single ewe that I tried to lamb to wet foster a triplet onto. Got the legs and head all in the right place but even after 10 mins of pulling didnít get anywhere. In the 30 mins it took the vet to get here she hadnít progressed anymore, so we took them out the side. Not without risks, but had 2 live lambs as a result (unexpectedly she had twins). To get a good outcome with vet intervention you need to not waste time or pull too much, and be able to stand back and say youíve reached the limit of your abilities and donít be afraid to ask for help v

 

Meat came back today!

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