Oh boy. I think I hate sheep. No. 27 finally delivered the goods, i.e. Lamby, at about 2 am this morning. It was a tough time. I had to do a lot of smearing with lubricant and a minor bit of delving to get Lamby out at the end. His elbows had got stuck and mum was struggling. Anyway, Chris and I got him safely into this world, but then No. 27 started butting him. Lamby was bleating appealingly and lunging towards her on his wobbly legs for a cuddle, but all she wanted to do was send him flying. We had several tries to get her to bond. The last one included bringing Nessie out on her lead to ‘threaten’ mum and baby and so bring out maternal protective instincts. (We read about his on the Net – don’t worry, we weren’t making it up!) All that happened was the No. 27 gave Nessie a good butting and then started on baby again, so we’ve opted for hand rearing. Nessie, a sheepdog by the way, is still sulking in the garden.
Two a.m. isn’t the best time to fumble your way into handrearing a lamb. For a start we had nowhere to put him so he’s come into the house for the time being. I had sheep milk powder and baby bottles but it took a while to unite the two. We’d managed to get Lamby to suckle a tiny bit from mum while Chris disarmed her by holding her down but I need to buy colustrum from the vet this morning, and get a bigger bottle too. Lamby has had three small bottles of milk in three hours, done copious amounts of wee and started to poop. He’s also had a half hour nap lying on my chest as I snoozed on the sofa. I am SO tired at the mo. But looks like that’s it sleepwise for tonight though. Lamby’s wide awake and prancing around the lounge. Plus I’m starving so it’s time to raid the fridge.
The last thing we were expecting was for mum to reject baby. I know sheep do it, but we didn’t think ours would. There didn’t seem to be any reason. No. 27 had a fairly traumatic delivery I guess, and perhaps us being around stressed her, but if we hadn’t intervened, we’d have certainly lost our second lamb, and I don’t know how mum would have got on. She was exhausted.
And we thought llama births were difficult!
Update by Chris: Steph and lamby sleeping quietly !
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