Friday, February 6, 2009
Sheep Midwifery, And Good Friends
~I checked out my sheep while I drank my morning coffee and saw Naomi acting strangely.She was pushing against the shelter panels.~~Oh, she was going to have her lamb! I watched as she pushed out some birth matter, then eagerly awaited the gushing out of a new lamb. I waited, and waited, and watched Naomi have big contractions, pace around, baa, lay down and roll and baa some more. Hmmm, this went on for awhile. Oh no, I was home alone and I knew I needed help. Someone to help me catch Naomi and check her out. ~I am so blessed to have some of the best friends and neighbors. I called Lanny ( from It's the Dirt) and even though she is sick, she rushed over with her daughters Bet ( from Paddle In the Pond) and Anna ( Terriers and Tabbies ) ! Bet and Anna helped me corner and catch Naomi who could run pretty fast in spite of her distress. I held Naomi while Bet carefully checked out Naomi's interior nursery and she discovered the big lamb was breech. Bet manipulated the lamb's feet into a good position and carefully pulled her out. She was big for a Jacob lamb. Then Anna suctioned the excess mucous out of the nostrils and mouth with one of those little suction thingys , grabbed the lamb by the back legs and swung her around her ( Anna's ) head. This action helps force the mucous out of the lungs and mouth and nose, allowing the lamb to breathe. This works well as long as you don't let the slippery lamb fly out of your hands. I usually wrap a towel around the legs before I do this. This action also works for distressed newborn puppies and goats. ~Naomi was pretty tired and at first ignored her lamb. Oh no, I am going to be gone for the weekend and Hubby doesn't need to deal with a bottle baby. I left Naomi alone with her lamb for awhile and when I checked back, she was cleaning her lamb off.
~The little lamb is a noisy girl, but she was not up and around. I squirted some nutritional supplement into her mouth and stood her up. ~~She wobbled and wavered, but remained standing! Tonight Mom and lamb are doing well!~ ~I am so grateful this happened while I was home, that I have such great friends , that THEY were home too and willing and able to rush over and help. In the 17 + years I have kept Jacob sheep, I have only had to assist 3 or 4 ewes with lambing. I would have been very sad to have lost Naomi due to lambing problems. She is one of my favorite ewes. "There are numerous breeds of multiple horned sheep throughout the world. Of the eighteen breeds mentioned by A.R.Werner in 'An Enquiry Into The Origins of the Piebald or Jacob Sheep', thirteen of them are known to have the polycerate ( multi horned) trait. Many of the spotted , horned breeds of Europe had become extinct by the turn of the 20th century."JACOB SHEEP IN AMERICA by Ingrid Painter Blessings: good friends, healthy lambs and ewes