Thursday, April 30, 2009

A lot can happen in 15 minutes.....

So last night I brought the girls in for the night, fed them their evening hay and checked on the 'ladies in waiting' pen and counted heads in the pen with the lambs. Yup all is well. Time for supper.

Head in to eat and let the dogs outside to potty and was back out in about 15 minutes.

Chaos.

I go and hear a feeble lamb calling for a mother who won't respond. I go to the lamb pen. Everyone is with momma. I go to the 'expecting mothers' pen and there are 7 ewes standing around a beautiful little......wait for it.....wait....BLACK RAM LAMB!!! Just what I always wanted!! :) Problem was no one was fessing up to being the mom. No calls. Great. So my bottle ewe from last year goes up to sniff and baby tries to suckle. She obliges by hunching her back to bring her non existant udder closer for him. STOP IT! I yelled at her and she bounced and jumped away. What a snot! There were a few other ewes sniffing and looking interested but no one really excited that it was hers. BUM CHECK! hmm.....still nothing...wait! Centennial had afterbirth hanging from her bum...of course the last one I check! So I pick her up and put her in the waiting jug with baby. And then the show down....They stare at each other...baby cries, momma answers. Baby moves towards momma, baby gets head butted against the side of the jug. Baby cries...momma answers. Baby moves towards momma and she stamps her feet and shuffles away from him. This ensues for 15 minutes.

Ok halter time! She was the pretty katmoget lamb i showed at jefferson last fall. She was 8 out of 16 lambs but she was first single coated lamb of the group if that helps any ;) LOL I halter her and express milk from both nipples.....baby latches on. Rodeo bucking contest ensues. 15 minutes of nursing/trying to nurse/trying to find the right end.

Hmmm...maybe I need to mix him a bottle of Kolostrum* (from Premier 1 supplies). I go to the house and mix it and walk back not more than 15 minutes later and I walk past the lamb pen and I see a lamb and her mother standing next to the hog panel. wait....she is HANGING from the hog panel! OH DEAR GOD NO!! Not a ewe lamb! Why not a black ram lamb! She somehow managed to get in to the hog panel feeder and then tried to climb out only to get her leg wrapped around the wire. Not struggling, not making a sound. I go and pull her out. she lays down and i assume since she's not flayling around that she must be ok. She won't stand on it. Great.

Go and try to feed the new lamb who is now nursing while momma is tied up and not struggling. Ok bad idea for a bottle....now i wasted the kolostrum. I try to call me dog vet who lives just down the road from me. She bought a few Shetlands from me last year and her clinic while in town, her farm is just 2 miles down the road...my next neighbor actually on that side of the road :) While driving in the rain after an inch of rain fell and made the roads muddy again I end up going IN to the DITCH with the lamb on my lap driving 50 mph down the muddy road in the dark while raining. I eventually get enough grip to drive back up onto the road and I made it to her house. It took about 15 minutes to get there. She tells me that her hip has popped out and her ligaments/tendons appear to have been stretched out. She puts the hip back in and says she should be ok if she heals right.

She calls me this AM to tell me she wants to do Xrays to make sure its in. Well it didn't stay in. So they put it back in and it would pop back out right away since the muscles were so stretched. We tried what she called and Emur (excuse me if this is spelled wrong) but its in essense a sling of some sort to hold the hip in place. She falls over from it as she was using her 'bad' leg to balance her body. So we take the emur off and she says she'll just have to learn to walk with out her leg working perfectly and won't be able to run or jump or jump UP into the barn doorway to get in and out of the barn in the AM and PM. Yipee.

So go back home to try and do bottle duty. Well he looks to have nursed during the night but mom still wants to kill him (biting, kicking, head butting) so i halter her again and he nurses. he appeared weak this afternoon but when I talked to him he got up and ran screaming for me...I haltered mom again and she let him nurse both sides but only when tied.

My vet said she'd take him as a bottle lab but he is a HE and he is my nicest black lamb to date in my opinion. I don't want a fiesty ram lamb who is a bottle baby but I'm afraid if I don't bottle feed him he will more than likely not make it. If I do bottle him I probably will have an ornery ram come this fall.

Add to this I'm supposed to be in a wedding and leave tomorrow at noon and still have 5 ewes to lamb at any moment and a bottle lamb to feed or at least keep an eye on. My entire family will be gone and that means I may have to skip the dance and supper to come home to feed baby since the vet can't take him until Sunday! BAD TIMING!...ugh...what to do.......

thoughts? do i take him with and run the risk of mom completely forgetting about him? I do have a dog sitter coming to watch the dogs but he is NOT wanting to bottle feed adn I don't expect him to....

UGH UGH UGH!

7 comments:

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

if you can jug him and mom and tie her up for the time you're gone tomorrow, I'd do that. Make sure he gets a good fill before you leave, tie her up in the center of the back so she can't get hung up, and let her stay put until you get back. It won't hurt him to go 8 hours without milk, and chances are he may at least get plenty of milk as he wants it with her tied. He may be your best ram lamb fleece, but he could also end up someone's best fleeced wether too.
:-)
Cheesecake's ewe lamb pic is up...I know, I know.....
szzzzzzzz

Becky Utecht said...

When it rains it pours! What a post! I've been thinking of getting a headgate for times like this. A boer goat breeder in MN makes/sells portable headgates for only $80. Website is http://www.vkvboers.com/index_page0004.htm
Terri Drimel bought one and she likes it for her Shetlsnds. The best thing would be for his mmom to accept him after a couple days of forced nursing. It may still work out, but I've been there before and it's SO frustrating. Good luck!

Kara said...

Oh Garrett what a day! I hope things get better for that little we and ram lamb here on out.

Juliann said...

Ugh! Love how all the "pain in the butt" stuff always happens at once.
I second Becky. Get a head gate for times like these.
I gotta add that this is just one reason why I got away from breeding ewe lambs. Most of the time, everything goes smoothly, but I have noticed a psychological "maturity" lacking in some ewes who lamb as yearlings. Not worth the headache.
I do hope everything is okay with the hurt lamb, and the rejected one.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

To second what Juliann said, yearling Butter has been my only first-timer ewe who I've had to halter for her lamb to get a good few nursings in. (She was fine after an hour, and has been a good mom since.) I wouldn't take the lamb; I'd probably tie her as safely as possible, or put him in a safe jug-within-a-jug so they can see and sniff each other while you have to be away. What was someone thinking, getting married this weekend!

Gail V said...

Sorry it's so wild, Garrett. Best of luck with the little lamb problems.

Kathy said...

Gosh, Garrett...leave you alone for a bit and look all that happens! Ha, ha!
I think you did amazingly well for such a crazy day. And I agree with Juliann and Michelle...halter that mama and help the little one find the spigot and "let 'er buck".

Hugs from the SW....

A breed I can't stay away from

its true I guess that I would be first known for the fine wooled Shetland Sheep that I have procured and traveled across the USA and UK to ...