Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lambing bucket list

Yesterday it was pretty warm out.  When I got to the farm, I knew I had worn the wrong clothes- a light weight turtle neck.  I did chores and wormed the thin yearling and put her with the mothers/lambs, so she can get some grain for the next few weeks, until they are out on grass. 

I decided not to work on the manure pile because it was so warm, and perhaps I was being lazy..  The sheep were warm enough to go into barn to cool off.

I decided to stop by John's even though it was 50% I would or would not... I did.  And when I arrived, I knocked on his door, but no answer, then I went up to driveway and saw his dog in his truck, windows closed and no a/c on.. so I immediately called him.  He said "I just called you" I am in the barn, I've got a ewe with a....."  so I ran to my truck, put on my muck boots and got to John who had a ewe in a jug, and I saw a lamb's head hang out.  I asked him if he wanted me to hold the ewe and him pull, but he asked me to pull, I had smaller hands..  Well, this lamb's head was SWOLLEN, and the legs were back.  Was so tight, I could not really get in there, until I realized that the lamb was rotated such that her/his legs were at 9:00, so I went in on the side there, and had more room.  finally got one leg and got it forward, then got the second leg forward and got them out.  Then got the shoulders pulled past the crest.  The rest should be easy, right?  Um, NO!

I pulled with all my might (arms shaking, me swearing like a drunken sailor).. I had good grip, but no real progress.  It made no sense.  At one point I pulled and BOOM!  the body split open.  Yep, torso opened up and I saw all the organs and now me and the towel are covered in blood.  This lamb must have been dead a while.  Anyway, I am pulling and swearing.. etc... I am now worried that it will break in two.  A good note here, is that I was breathing through my mouth.  Finally after what seemed like an eternity, I get the lamb pulled.  His/her hind legs, etc, were normal.  PHEW.  I was BEAT.  As I walked over to a chair to sit down, John said "you are a prayer you know", then added, "I was calling you, and did not get you but you just appeared when I hung up" - the prayer being that I would stop by and help with the emergency.  God does work in mysterious and wonderful ways.

I washed up best I could and had a beer.  Before I left, I suggested John get some Penicillin into her (when lambs die, they release toxins into the ewe and can kill them). 

When I got home, I had another beer, a pot pie and went to bed.

I have added another lambing scenario to my bucket list.

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