Living life with animals, a person will get to experience many of life’s events. This week we have seen a full cycle of these events, when on Monday while doing a sheep check we found a very sick goat that later died despite our best efforts to revive her. This made for a somber household and a broken hearted little boy missing his pet.
Compounding things, we all are down with very bad chest colds that just won’t go away. This has left three little boys on antibiotics to help speed their recovery. And while everyone seems to be slowly overcoming their illnesses, poor Zayne though, has not. He has been running a 101-102 degree fever and was unable to keep his medicine down last night and was up all night coughing and crying. So he went back to the doctor today where they gave him an antibiotic shot and sent stuff home to do treatments on the nebulizer. So with me getting no sleep last night, Mark did his ususally check on the sheep before he left for work and mentioned that one had a little goop coming out of her. I told him that she’s had goop coming out of her all week but I would go back up and check her in a little while. In the meantime Zayne finally fell asleep and so must I cause it 10:30 when I opened my eyes next.
Now I wasn’t overly worried about this ewe because for the last 2 weeks she has looked like she was about to lamb and has had a little goop coming out of her. When I finally got up to the barn the sheep where singing up a chorus, telling me how starved they were and how dare I be so late! Then when I rounded the corner to her pen the first thing I saw was the sheep in question with a head and one leg sticking out of her! I don’t know how long she had been in labor, but the poor little baby was very limp and very stuck but mom ewe was up and chewing some straw, I knew that this was not good. I yelled at Sawyer, who was getting grain for his steer and caught mom and started working on getting baby out. I tried wiggling baby forward but it was really wedged in there and there was no way it was going to go back in so I could to try and re-align things. So while thinking about what I should do, I decided to check on baby and stuck my finger in its mouth to see…I’m not sure what made me do that cause I just knew it was dead. Maybe I read it somewhere or maybe I seen Mark do it, but it started to suck my finger! Talk about motivation, knowing it was still alive really puts hope back in a person! By this time Sawyer was up at the barn and he helped hold the ewe in one place while I pulled on the one leg. While I pulled on it, I slowly unfurled it’s whole leg, I felt inside her and could not feel the other one. There was not a lot of room inside the ewe so I made the excecutive decision to just get baby out. Sawyer asked what he could do so I told him if he thought he could, he could try to pull baby out. So he did just that and made it look so easy, he firmly grabbed the lamb and gently wiggled/pulled it the rest of the way out. (I’m so proud of Sawyer for stepping up and jumping in where he was needed! We have been watching the James Harriot movies on Netflix at night before doing our 1:30 a.m. check, they are such great shows and I think inspired him somewhat!)
After such an abrupt birth, the baby was not too sure it wanted to breathe. There was a bunch of meconium (baby’s first poo) that followed the baby out in the amniotic fluid, indicating the poor lamb was in distress. After some brisk rubbing and a couple of quick swings, fluid came out of it’s mouth and it started to sputter to life! This ewe is a first winter ewe, so she is a first time mother and after being so hands on with her and her little one I was afraid she might freak and run, but after I placed the lamb in front of her she started to lick and talk to it.