What a happy day! My dream of just walking out to the field and finding a lamb came true. Just after lunch I checked on the girls and there, tottering on it’s weirdly long legs was one healthy looking lamb.
Mum was licking it clean of the gooey yellow stuff all over its back, and it was doing its best to find a drink. My interfering gene wanted me to get in there, put it properly on the teat and generally supervise but I managed to draw breath and let nature do her bit.
After about half an hour I picked up the lamb and lured the ewe into a penned area so that we could keep them apart from the other rather stressed out sheep. Here I gave its navel (and my hands) a good dousing with iodine spray and watched to check it was getting some milk.
A quick call to my lambing midwife, Will (a proper farmer in the village), came next. He suggested I glove up and check there wasn’t another lamb coming. I’d been hoping to avoid this but with Simon gently holding the sheep against the side of the pen, I lubed up and gently pushed my hand inside. It wasn’t as bad as I’d feared and the ewe was remarkably calm. I could feel a chunky lump of afterbirth but no sign of any hooves or a head. Now it was a case of waiting for that to pass, and Will advised picking it up as soon as possible in case she tried to eat it… Eeeew. It duly appeared a couple of hours later and was whisked away.
At 7pm we noticed a lot of fresh bright red blood around the ewe’s rear end, which didn’t look right. Closer investigation revealed something hanging out so it was gloves on again for a delve inside. What looked like a mummified lamb embryo then emerged – not very nice – and we’re all glad it’s bin day tomorrow. We’re keeping a close eye on mum, who generally seems to be happily eating, drinking and nursing her lamb.
What I’ve learned so far:
1. All the bad stuff you read on the internet isn’t necessarily going to happen, every time.
2. Iodine really stains your hands. And it’s what farms smell of.
3. The worrying doesn’t stop once the baby arrives…