"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Friday, February 27, 2009

Excessively Tidy Momma

~This little ram lamb has a momma who is excessively, compulsively, tidy, and that can lead to some serious problems for little boys of all species...it has not been a good thing for this little guy. Isn't he cute? ~But look at his tail......it is hard to see, but his momma has cleaned the flesh right off his little tail and there are at least 2 inches of bare bloody bone showing. The poor momma keeps cleaning off the dripping blood so compulsively that she creates more blood which needs more cleaning which takes off more flesh which...you get the picture! ( note the yearling ram in background. He has battered down the boards that are kitty-wampus) ~It all started this afternoon. It was a beautiful sunny day and I was skirting wool ( sorting through sheared fleeces and picking out debris and clumps, etc., before washing) and I heard the unmistakable bleating of a new lamb. Yay! I could tell Sassafras was going to lamb so had been keeping watch. I was pleasantly surprised to see twins! Twin ram ( boy ) lambs. Sassafras was doing a good job of cleaning and mothering. She was a good momma last year and is fiercely protective of her lambs. I was not worried and went back to skirting wool. ~I checked up on the lambs every 20 minutes or so and ..hmmmm.....there is a bit more blood than I am used to seeing on new born lambs, but they were up and about and seemed fine. They were trying to nurse and Sassafras was squatting to accommodate them. O. K. I'll get more work done. ~Then I saw the bone showing at the end of both lambs tails. Uh oh! So, I brought them into the house and Hubby and I banded the tails, that is, we put very tight rubber bands made especially for lambs tail and testicles, on the tails just 3 inches down from the spine. This would stop the bleeding and eventually the tail will fall off. I normally don't do this til the lambs are 3 days old, but this little guy would continue bleeding all night and that can't be a good thing. I dipped the tails ends into a strong iodine solution and gave the little lambs a squirt of nutritional supplement and let them rest in a basket in our laundry room for awhile. ~It is dark out, the chickens are sleeping on their roosts. I take the lambs back out to Sassafras who is screaming and battering the gate to her pen, trying to get to her lambs.
~Here she is, checking out the new addition to her lambs' tails. She is also licking the tail. ~Sassafras, STOP THAT !~
~"Are you talking to me ? " ~
~The bleeding seems to have stopped, the boys are bedding down. This Momma has even cleaned up all the birth matter. Most of my sheep leave it for me to clean up. ~I have had momma dogs excessively clean their newborns and start in on little legs....I stopped it and it never led to maiming or death, but sheep are not carnivores. So eating the flesh is a bit of extreme cleaning. Lanny had a case of such excessive lamb cleaning that they ended up with 2 little special needs lambs. ~Miss Marple is supervising the activity in the lambing shed. All is well for now. She has vermin and spiders to catch. It is time for me to go inside, and I'll be back out later to check in on Sassafras and her boys. Good thing they're sheep, or they'd end up in therapy groups later on, blaming all their problems on their excessively tidy mom. Blessings: lambs, a peaceful evening in the lambing shed


Anonymous said...

Great pictures Kathy. How sweet the lambs are.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Beautiful little lambs - some of our goats do total clean up after themselves and others leave it for us (and the vultures who think it is a great feast). Very unusual about the licking babies raw - but you are a good shepherdess in caring for the little ones! Congrats on the healthy boys.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Wow, Kathy, you were kept very busy. Good to know all is well now, and that the situation could be be fixed.

You have beautiful sheep and lambs! I am enjoying learning about them through you.

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

Beautiful lambs! Sorry about their tails, but the part about them needing therapy was funny! I never had a doe go that far, but I did have one that kidded on a cool night and she just kept licking and licking her already very clean kid so much that she was actually keeping her wet.

I had to keep drying the kid off! I would get the poor kid nice and dry with a towel, come back and she would be very damp again and mom was still there licking. LOL. Kid was OK though in the end.

Congrats on the new lambs, they are gorgeous! Love their coloring.

Anonymous said...

Oh goodness, we had some goats lick their kids to death but at least it didn't lead to any bleeding though.

KathyB. said...

Mildred, lambs are sweet..and so cute.

LindaSue,Vultures! Will you take pictures of that ?

Mary, thank-you! I am enjoying your kidding season.

Shiloh Prairie, that is funny...not to the lamb though. Bath by goat.

Amy, isn't it good we humans don't have to lick our little ones clean!

Lanny said...

I was doing fine, merrily reading along, understanding your irritation with the nutty mom, but then I got to "special needs lambs" Choke choke sputter guffaw, choke snort snot, Now where the heck is my inhaler.

KathyB. said...

Lanny, I thought better of describing the predicament your lambs were in after their momma went to clean extremes.....that might also be a post titled ' WHEN SHEEP GO WRONG ! " or " BIZARRE SHEEP"....or....?

noble pig said...

Kathy I am cringing but so interested in the details...geez you have a full OB/GYN clinic over there as well as a pediatric unit! I hope they all remain all right because they are so cute!

Jo said...

Omigoodness, how cute is that!?

I'm amazed that Sassafras would be so diligent.

Have you ever considered doing a series of childen's books about the wonderful animals on your farm?

KathyB. said...

Noble Pig, really, after all these years of helping dogs, cats , goats and sheep with delivering their babies, and tending any problems, stitching up vaginal prolapses on sheep and goats, doing CPR, stitching up injuries ourselves, administering vaccines and antibiotics via syringe..etc,I have felt like I should open up a clinic. I tell ya, when I go the the vet for some help and they open up the same vet books I have and prescribe at triple the price meds I can buy through a vet supply catalog MYSELF....well, you have a point!

Jo, yes, I have. Blogging is my substitute for actually doing anything like that though, thanks!

Anonymous said...

I have heard of sheep doing this but never seen it! YUCK! I'm glad you were able to remedy the situation. Your babies are very pretty.

Daisy said...

Aw...those little lambs are so precious, Kathy. I am learning so much here. All of this is so foreign to me.