#LAMBMETRICS for the day
Drysdale & English Leicester Flocks
Born today: 4
Total Lambs Born: 55
Drysdale lambs (live total): [no purebreds in 2019]
DrysdaleX lambs (total): 31
English Leicester lambs (live total): 23
Total Sets of Twins born: 12
Total Sets of Triplets born: 0
Total ewe lambs: 25
Total ram lambs: 30
Ewes lambed /68: 43 (63.2 %)
Lamb % : 125 % [live]
Notable Midwifery tales:
Remember Hermione the Lambnapper who was taking after her mother yesterday?
Just after the blog posted last night she had her lamb. 🙂
Today was supposed to be easy….. yeah, right.
This year we’re really trying to make sure the lambs are getting enough milk so we pretty much have them under a microscope – and analysing each move they make (or don’t). The downside is several more getting “top-up” bottles during the day.
Today saw a few heavy showers come through and about lunchtime (bottle time) the lambs were fed but one English Leicester lamb was missing. After 15-20 minutes of looking behind sheds, under the tractor in the shed (favourite spot!) in the nettles patches, under fences, behind woodpiles it was looking increasingly like it had vanished into thin air. Maybe it was taken by an eagle was one thought.
Then, the thought that maybe it had squeezed through the gate into the feed shed while it was raining. Walk in… no….. then turn around and…
The mother was very pleased to see him. He needs a top-up bottle though (one reason why he was feeling a bit frail and hid himself away).
Meanwhile, while the searching was going on it was noticed that the neighbour’s young cattle had got through the fence and were in our paddock! Once the lambs had been sorted out it was up the hill to move sheep out of the way so the cattle could be collected. (The sheep were a little bemused – “we just moved in here yesterday!”) The cattle thought this was a wonderful idea and ran around exploring. I left the neighbour to do the cattle wrangling – and I headed home for a late lunch!
After a quick dash to town to post some orders it was time to clean pens and check on a pet ewe that had looked like she was “ready”.
Chores were done, English Leicesters were rearranged but there was still no lambs from “Miss Piggy”. A few alarm bells were ringing as she was watched walking around the paddock. She wasn’t going to be easy to get into the shed so she was caught in the paddock and with the 2nd shepherdess holding the mother’s “hand” a quick exam determined that Miss Piggy was indeed “ready” but the lamb at the door was trying to be born breech (hocks first in this case) and the placenta was already trying to come with it (that’s not good). Thankfully, no-one takes photos while the shepherdess has arm-length obstetric gloves on with her hand inserted to manipulate a lamb!
The lamb’s legs were moved so that the toes would come first and then it was pulled pretty easily. It was alive! It was placed in front of Miss Piggy and she immediately started to lick it which is a very important instinctive behaviour for lamb-mother bonding and for the external stimulation of the lamb.
Miss Piggy has had twins previously and our standard procedure when doing an intervention is to always check for a twin. There was a twin.
This twin was in correct birthing position and a bit further “back” in the uterus. Normally it would be fine to leave the ewe to deliver the second lamb but with darkness approaching and being unsure how long everything else had taken it was decided to extract the second. That turned out to be a good decision as the second lamb was showing signs of stress – it had done a poo whilst in utero. Being jammed up behind your brother is common across the species…. 😉
Both lambs were a good size and Miss Piggy is a great mum. 🙂 (She’s not a Drysdale or a English Leicester, she’s actually a Composite (a crossbred with lots of breeds in it!)).