New Lambs!

Discussion in 'Livestock' started by Baymule, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. Baymule

    Baymule Gardener

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    This is our second lambing. Our ewes are half Katahdin and half Dorper, hair sheep. I studied sheep and goats to death while living on our little "town" lot. I settled on sheep and after we moved, we jumped in. I found bred ewes on Craig's List and we bought 4. The ewes were bred to a Katahdin ram. They rewarded us a couple of months later with lambs.

    http://www.backyardherds.com/threads/baymule-finally-has-sheep-babies.32194/

    We wound up with 5 lambs from the first lambing, I selected 2 as keeper ewes and we sent 3 to slaughter. I sold 2 1/2 of the slaughter lambs, so we kept the other half lamb that I did not sell. Best meat I ever tasted!

    In June of this year, we bought a Dorper ram and brought him home.

    http://www.backyardherds.com/threads/new-ram-and-sheep-shuffle.33829/

    I hope ya'll don't mind the links I am posting. They tell what we have done with our sheep so far, and have lots of pictures in them.

    Our 2 Great Pyrenees had never seen sheep, so we had quite the learning curve. I am happy to say that after many hours, days and weeks of intensive time and training, we have 2 wonderful sheep Livestock Guardian Dogs. Trip was a cute fluffy puppy when my husband bought him for me. Paris was a "free" confirmed chicken killer. It took me 2 years to turn her around and make her a chicken protector, but now she is the best, even if she is still a bit phychotic.

    http://www.backyardherds.com/threads/trip-is-a-sheep-guardian.32758/

    http://www.backyardherds.com/threads/paris-has-begun-lamb-training.33844/

    So it is with great pride I post this picture taken yesterday with Paris in the background, watching over the newborn, still wet, little lambs. Good girl Paris.

    The sheep in the picture is Sheepalicious, who has been miserable and HUGE the past week or two. I thought she'd pop before giving birth! The mostly white lamb is a ram, the one with a black head is a ewe lamb. Aren't they adorable? Mom and lambs are in a lot with a shelter deeply bedded with hay for a few days.


    Lambs 11-28-2016.JPG
     
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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      Utterly!!! :wub2: :wub2: :wub2:
      Well done Sheepalicious, you are a clever girl
      Will you name them?
       
    • Gogs

      Gogs Gardener

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      Absolutely beautiful .
       
    • Baymule

      Baymule Gardener

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      Bad news, they were fine this morning. We left, were gone most of the day and came home to find Sheepalicious bawling, looking at us as we drove up like something was wrong. It was. The lambs had wedged themselves behind a hay bale and were non responsive and cold. They were too weak to suck, I tried to feed them from a syringe, but that was only drops at a time. My husband was so upset, I told him
      they needed to be tube fed, but I had never done it, so we took them to the vet. The vet showed me how to tube feed them, he gave them a vitamin E shot, and was very helpful. I figured it would be a $150 vet bill, but he only charged $50!

      We brought them home, they are still weak. Right now they are in a laundry basket, wrapped in towels, by the sofa. I'll feed them again in a little while. I hope they make it. Of all things, I never saw this one coming. I never thought I'd kill them with a blasted hay bale.:sad:
       
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      • Jiffy

        Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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        Sheep are funny things, you can't leave them for one minute, turn your backs for a minute and they die
         
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        • "M"

          "M" Total Gardener

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          So sorry to read about this, I hope they make it too :grphg:
           
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          • Baymule

            Baymule Gardener

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            They both died last night. The little ewe lamb died around 9:30, the ram lamb after 12:30. This morning it took us a bit to get ourselves together to deal with them. I put them in my wagon, cradled in towels and pulled the wagon in the sheep lot. Sheepalicious sniffed her babies, baa-baaing softly, urging them to get up. We lost it. Both of us cried out our grief for the lambs that never got to live, the ewe in her confusion and grief. We both kept apologizing to her, she would look at us expectantly like she wanted us to do something. The others crowded around sniffing the lambs carefully, walked away, but stayed in the lot. Surprisingly, Prince, the ram stayed by the wagon and Sheepalicious. He stood next to me while I sat on a milk crate and cried. We stayed with the sheep for over an hour while they grieved. Finally they all left the lot. Sheepalicious walked away, coming back several times baa-baaing to her lambs, sniffing them again and again. She finally left the lot and went to the round hay bale with the others.

            My husband had gone ahead and dug the hole to bury them. We wrapped them up, lowered them in the hole and covered them up, both of us sniffling. We wiped a lot of tears and our runny noses on our jacket sleeves. I need to wash them now.

            The dogs had their moments with the lambs. Paris was in the lot through the grieving process, she was more about comforting us. Last night while I held them Parker kept coming up and licking them, trying to help. Trip stayed next to the lot fence from the moment we moved mom and babies in it and he stayed next to the fence last night.

            For all the hurt, for all the pain of loss, for all the grief and sadness, it is well worth it. The joy of birth and life far overshadows the sadness of death.
             
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            • "M"

              "M" Total Gardener

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              :grphg: How deeply upsetting for you both :grphg:

              I can completely empathise :grphg:

              Such intuitive souls, aren't they? :grphg:

              It does, brave words indeed! But, it should never overshadow the need to grieve so that you can move forward ;)

              Holding you in my heart @Baymule while you come to terms with your grief: a sad day indeed!

              Maybe give Sheepalicious a little pat from me? They know, but it doesn't mean they don't hurt too.
               
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              • Gogs

                Gogs Gardener

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                So sorry to hear you lost them.
                 
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                • Linz

                  Linz Total Gardener

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                  Aww baymule I'm sorry :frown: I can only imagine how your both feeling. Big hugs :grphg:
                   
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                  • Baymule

                    Baymule Gardener

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                    Had to put my ewe down today. I am crushed. Out of all of them, why did it have to be Sheepalicious? Why her? She would let the others run ahead going to pasture, but she hung back walking beside me with her neck up against my leg. She baa-baaed at me when I went outside or she heard my voice. If I sat on a milk crate in the lot, she sniffed my face and waited for attention. She stood transfixed when I stroked her neck, she loved it. She was my love with her own special place in my heart. She followed me like a dog. I am devastated.

                    This morning I picked up our 2 1/2 month old grand daughter. Coming in our driveway, I saw the other sheep but not Sheepalicious. I knew something was wrong. I put the baby down for sleep and ran outside. She was down, in the same spot she gave birth to her lambs. I got her up, but her legs were stiff and she didn't want to walk. I got a soft cotton lead rope and called my husband. I looped the rope around her hindquarters and pushed while DH pulled. We got her to the lot and decided to take her to the vet. I called our neighbor Robert and he came right over and they hooked the trailer to his truck. DH's truck was in the shop for brakes, so we didn't even have a truck. I called another neighbor to come over and stay with the baby. She brought her 3 year old boy and came right over. DH gave Robert the keys to my car so he could go back home. On the way to the vet we both gave thanks for having such wonderful neighbors.

                    The vet is a young man, but he nailed it right away. He called it Ruptured Prepubic Tendon. He cautioned us that prognosis was not good and animals with this condition were culled. Basically what happened is the tendon that holds the abdomen in place ruptured and everything was hanging down, like a pot bellied pig. He wrapped his arms around her belly and lifted up, we could hear sloshing inside her. He told us fluids were accumulating in her uterus. To make sure of his diagnosis, he did his internet research and made phone calls for more information.

                    I sat in the trailer stroking her neck, crying. My husband was crying too, but he pulled it together to be a comfort to me. Poor thing was suffering, every breath an effort. It pulled her lungs downward and she struggled to breathe. She turned her face to me, forehead to forehead and my tears rolled off my face and dripped onto hers. It was as if she was asking me to do something for her, but there was nothing I could do. The vet's wife came out to tell us that he was looking it up and hadn't forgotten us, left and came back with a box of kleenax.

                    The vet said he studied it in school, but it was his first case. He said it is uncommon, but happens to all farm animals. Normally a mare, or cow is put in a sling to hold the abdomen up and the foal or calf delivered by C-section in an effort to save the baby, then the mare or cow is put down. Goats and sheep, not so much. He said the condition doesn't affect the meat and production ranches take the animal to slaughter. Sobbing, I said I can't eat her, I just can't. And I sure can't prolong her suffering by hauling her to slaughter. The whole idea of trying to salvage a few dollars for her was repulsive to me. My husband agreed and was trying so hard not to cry, but he was crying too. The decision was made to put her down. The vet and his tech were so gentle with her and so kind to us. She was standing, as it took effect, her knees buckled and they held her on the way to the trailer floor. I stroked her neck because she always loved that.

                    Looking back, several days before the lambs birth, her belly was hanging low. I just thought she was really ready to give birth, which she was, but the tendon had already ruptured. That is why she didn't run to pasture. That is why she didn't run back to her shelter at night. That is why she slowly walked and stood spraddle legged. She was in bad shape and I didn't know it. After the birth, her belly still hung low, but I didn't think much about it. She just had babies, right? She'll tighten back up and be her regular self. I've had babies and my belly was kinda floppy for awhile too. I just didn't know. it has been a rough week. I am ready for this week to be over.
                     
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                    • Jiffy

                      Jiffy The Match is on Fire

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                      :grphg::grphg:
                       
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                      • JWK

                        JWK Gardener

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                        So sorry for you Baymule :grphg:
                         
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                        • Linz

                          Linz Total Gardener

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                          Oh poor little love, again I'm really sorry for your losses. Hope you can have some comfort in knowing she is at peace with her babies now :grphg:
                           
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                          • Baymule

                            Baymule Gardener

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                            I'm normally pretty tough on things like this, I know and expect things to go wrong, and sometimes they do. With LIVE-stock you get DEAD-stock, but I never like it. This particular case just way-laid me. Some animals wrap around my heart and when something happens to them, I just go to pieces. Thanks for all the hugs! I have 5 more ewes that will be having lambs, so I will find my joy again.
                             
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