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Sheep Lambing Diseases....all in my own sheep shed (unfortunately1)

Discussion in 'Birthing, Weaning, and Raising Young Sheep' started by Sheepshape, Mar 17, 2019 at 1:02 AM.

  1. Mar 17, 2019 at 1:02 AM
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Lambing for me never starts well.....and this year is no exception.

    The weather changed....from seasonally too warm, to storms (first Gareth, then Hannah).....torrential rain, high winds, sleet etc

    Two ewes (imminently pregnant) developed severe pneumonia. One recovered after potent antibiotics....the other was unconscious for 48 hours, then began to recover. Long story cut short....her lambs died within her (as became apparent). Unable to stand 10 days on, maintained by fluids from the drench gun....vet came 2 days back. Just before she came, some stinking blood-stained fluid starts coming from her vulva. Vet came and manually extracted the two dead (and stinking) foetuses.The ewe is still (just about) with us, but still not able to move.

    An old girl expecting triplets became lame on a front foot (injury more than infection). Penned up....looking Twin Lamb(ish). Condition going off in spite of antibiotics, inflammatories, drenching etc etc. Started to push after 5 days....I pulled out a folded, several days dead folded breech lamb. She gave birth to two dead lambs in the next few hours.....then her placenta failed to leave. The vet manually extracted her placenta 2 days back. Heavy antibiotics/anti-inflammatories and lots of TLC, and she is also still with us.(Oh, and a big fistful of kudos to the little lady vet who pulled, pushed and never flinched at the stinking, slimy, nasty work she carried out. Also the fact that she had a car capable of coming through the road at the bottom of the drive which had a flood well over a foot deep with a raging torrent across it).

    So....lambing commences....5 dead lambs, and two ewes still 'on the critical list'.

    Whilst the vet was there, another ewe starts to push....one LIVE ewe lamb. Marked for two, so I stay with her. Shortly, a back leg appears....breech. I pulled it out...a big (and very FLAT) ram lamb. Mouth-to-muzzle, swinging, rubbing...and, quite honestly, a sense of 'you cannot die after I have just had 5 dead lambs' prevailed. Over an hour of working with him, and the most friendly and co-operatve ewe that this world could ask for....and he is with us and suckling. He needed to be helped to stand and suckle throughout the evening, but has come on well since.

    Finally, Winnie...an old ewe with a history of giving birth very quickly, scanned for twins. I see Winnie pushing.....she isn't fooling. Several little grunts from her and she lies down, so I look at her vulva. Bulging a bit, no water bag to see yet. A big grunt from Winnie and lamb is coming into the wold with intact water bag sitting like a mask across her face. I frantically strip the bag off and hand the ewe lamb to Winnie, who is very pleased with herself. I move her swiftly to a lambing pen, Winnie grunts and lies down again....another back leg and tail, so I pull out the lamb and clear her face. Lamb sneezes a few times and shakes her head, Winnie is extremely pleased with herself and makes those lovely little gurgly noises that ewes reserve for their lambs. 10 minutes later and both are feeding and the first born actually does a little dance.

    The weather is forecast to improve in about 2 days....I'm hoping that will signal a change in my girls' fortunes!

    Why do we do this?
     
  2. Mar 17, 2019 at 11:20 AM
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

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    That was a sad post to read but now I have a need to know what you will name the ram lamb (if any)?

    With all of that going on I know it's sometime hard to keep the desire to continue going.
     
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  3. Mar 17, 2019 at 12:09 PM
    Wehner Homestead

    Wehner Homestead Herd Master

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    Wow! Sounds similar to our Calving season. We have four more to go. Glad that the last few lambs have done well after minor interventions!!!
     
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  4. Mar 17, 2019 at 12:26 PM
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    He probably should be called Lucky.....but I'm of a mind to call him Shencyn....strange old Welsh name which is always used for the Regimental goat locally (big army barracks in Brecon).....who has an honorary rank of corporal so it's Corporal Shenkin IV who is currently the goat mascot...from the Queen's flock of goats. Seems somehow suitable, but I don't really know why as he is not a goat.
     
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  5. Mar 17, 2019 at 8:48 PM
    shepherdO

    shepherdO Overrun with beasties

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    Wow - I'm impressed that you got your lamb 'resurrected' after an hour! Makes me think that I should have tried harder with the 3 beautiful dead ewe lambs I had this year. I wanted them so badly... meh. I tried all the things you said, but maybe not long enough...
     
  6. Mar 17, 2019 at 10:16 PM
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    It just has to get better. You have had a very rough winter, lots of bad weather. Spring is on the way, it will get better. I am so sorry that you lost so may lambs. :hit It will get better. :hugs
     
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  7. Mar 17, 2019 at 11:48 PM
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

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    Often, dead is just that. However, I pulled this lamb out, and there shouldn't have been much delay in his birth such that he inhaled birth products or time for him to get seriously acidotic......though there was a bit of 'I just can't let this happen'.

    I'm hoping this is the case. The weather is forecast to change for us this week, and I'm very, very lucky that I haven't had a surge of lamb births in the last few days which would have meant that my sheep shed couldn't accommodate them all whilst waiting for the weather improve.

    Today may be the day when lots of lambs are born, though, so I'll eat big breakfast!
     
    Mike CHS likes this.