Yesterday was International Women’s Day which I spent being wonder woman here at home. A week ago I had a csection to birth my beautiful second daughter and I am supposed to be home taking it easy. Both of my parents are here to help with the farm and watching my older daughter (wonder woman in training) while I am healing and taking care of our newborn wonder woman.
Yesterday after lunch I decided that I wanted to walk out to the barn to check on my animals and move the barn camera so I could better see in the sheep area in case anyone was hiding and having lambs. We have been waiting on lambs for weeks now and I keep telling myself any day now they will come out! Upon arriving in the barn we moved the camera and Henley said hello to all the sheep and her barn kitty. I looked down from bungie cording my camera to the barn (because bungie cords and duct tape will fix anything) to see blood dripping all down my favorite Ewe’s backend. This was a sure sign that lambs would be arriving any minute. We brought Henley inside to hang out with my mom and her new baby sister while my dad and I went out to make sure that the lambs made it safely into the world.
As we were shuffling the rest of the sheep out of the stall to give Purl some room and privacy Purl’s water broke followed by her birthing a tail. Well for those of you that are not sheep farmers my heart sank when I saw only a tail present as lambs need to come out front legs and head first. All of my sheep are first time moms this year and this is my first year lambing so to say none of us know what we are doing is quite accurate. After calling my sheep mentor who confirmed that I would have to pull this lamb I put on my Wonder Woman pants and marched out to the barn with all my supplies and my reluctant dad.
After getting everyone settled and gloving up I had my dad hold Purl while I reached in to see what I could do to get this lamb out for her. I could not get the lamb positioned exactly the way I wanted it since it was so far down the birth canal but I did manage to get the little guy out. This one was a healthy ram (boy) lamb. He took a really long time to stand up and nurse most likely from being wedged in the birth canal for so long. I thought we were done and only having one lamb until Purl pushed out some legs.
Purl began pawing furiously at the ground and laying down and standing up repeatedly. She pushed out two legs and then part of the body unfortunately it wasn’t a rear end or a tail. This lamb was coming out front feet first with its head turned back making this one unable to come out on its own as well. After considerable effort I got this lamb in far enough to turn the head and pull the lamb out. To no fault of the sheep or myself this little lamb which was a ewe (girl) didn’t make it.
After some time little ram lamb was finally able to stand and nurse with some help. Purl has not won the mother of the year award as she refused to let the little guy nurse. We left Purl’s head tied up overnight to try to get her to bond with little lamb and make it easier for him to eat. Unfortunately between Purl not letting the little guy nurse and stepping on him coupled with him continuing to become colder and weak we had to bring the lamb inside to bottle feed.
Henley is in love with her little house lamb and has been super helpful with feeding the lamb. We are hopeful that with some tender loving toddler care and a watchful border collie the lamb will thrive and do well.