Twins and One Lamb Backwards Presentation

Well I just had to go and open my mouth in my post about how well lambing season was going; I know better than to tempt fate. We were waiting on our last ewe to lamb when our great lambing season went wrong.

Two weeks ago, on April 2 (my grandson's birthday), that last ewe went into labor and delivered a little ram lamb without problem. I was videoing the new lamb (video below) taking his first steps when I zoomed in on the next pair of feet sticking out and I realized that they were pointing down - meaning the lamb was presenting backwards. Even though a backward presentation (hind legs first) is considered a "normal" presentation, I ran to the house to get ob gloves and lubricant just in case she needed help. I just didn't realize yet, that the one thing I needed I didn't have.

After 30 minutes, it was becoming evident that the ewe was going to need help. I had the supplies and I knew what I had to do, I would have to pull the legs straight out until the hips were out and then pull down in one quick movement so that the lamb wouldn't drown.  But, as I said, I was missing the one thing I needed...someone to help.  There was no one to be found to hold the ewe.  When I approached she would move away; I could not get close enough to put my hands on the lambs legs and I couldn't get her cornered.  This was her first delivery and I didn't want to panic her and risk her not bonding with the lamb already on the ground.

After an hour, the ewe managed to deliver the lamb but the lamb was dead and had been for awhile - and the ewe knew it.  As soon as she delivered the lamb, she walked away without ever looking at it.  I still tried to see if there was anything I could do, I quickly cleared the mucus from the mouth and nose, picked the lamb up by the hind feet, swung it up and down several times and a lot of fluid came out but the lamb was still not responding.  I swung a few more times, letting it hit my palm on the down swing and still no response.  I put the lamb down and massaged its lungs and still nothing.  After about 5 minutes, I finally gave up. 

The lamb we lost was an ewe lamb and she was the bigger twin. If HillBilly had been around, I am fairly certain that we would have been able to corner the ewe and we could have saved the lamb.  The little ram lamb is doing just fine and enjoying playing with twins born just a few days before him.  I will also be for sale along with 8 other ram lambs from this season.

Sheep Lambing Backwards DeliverySheep Lambing Backwards DeliverySheep Lambing Backwards DeliveryEwe Lambing Problems


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