Monday, 29 March 2010

Lamb talk

Annie has finally lambed!! After a weekend of moaning, groaning and heavy breathing she eventually produced a large ewe lamb, with a little help, at 12.15 am this morning. Both are doing well.

Yesterday a friend/vet came to see the new arrivals and to check out Freda. Since lambing Freda has been lame on one of her hind legs and I was worried if it got worse she wouldn't stand to feed her lambs. We trimmed her feet and sprayed them just in case there was any infection, but the most likely cause is a result of the lambs pressing on a nerve, before or during birth. She will be watched for the next 48 hours to see if there is any improvement, if not we may consider an antibiotic injection. For now it is just a case of watch and wait.

We also castrated the ram lamb and docked both of their tails. Two procedures I am still not entirely comfortable with. The Zwartbles have very thin, wool less tails so docking isn't necessary, however crossing with a Suffolk ram often produces lambs with very thick, woolly tails, prone to fly strike. I also question how necessary castration is. It's done now, but I need to give it more thought before next year.

Freda's lambs are doing so well. Every year it amazes me how quickly they start to jump around and play. I have a feeling Frank is going to be a bundle of trouble.

Tomorrow afternoon I shall put both the ewes and lambs together, for now they are in separate pens. If it isn't raining too hard they will be able to go outside. I always feel they do so much better once out in the fresh air and on grass.


A Green and Rosie Life said...

Well done Annie - watching the rate my singles are growing I do wonder if they are not the better option. As for castrating/docking - we do neither but Simon wants to dock next year. I'm unsure as yet.

Rosie x

Anonymous said...

gawd im so jealous that your lambing period was over so soon...!! Personally.. I think its the ram we are using......and begger cant be choosers.

Was the lamb presented ok? how much help did she need?

as you know we dock - really the tail thing seems to make no difference to them at all (using the rings). I had no idea zwartbles tails were naturally unwoolly - I though you had shaved them!!
Castration - it clearly brings them down for a few hours.. and I dont like it. and we too think we shall think on that one a bit longer. Problem is you have to know what you plan to do with them later in the year.. as keeping them with mum wont do.. so leaving them intact means an earlier ...difficult.

congrats on a successful lambing!

Sandra said...

Like you I have no choice over the type of ram or when we can put them to the ram as they go to a friends, but I do sponge them so lambing is sychronised.

This is the first year I've tail docked , they really didn't take any notice. The ram lamb suffered for a couple of hours, painful to watch but was soon up and bouncing around.

As far as the lambing went, her water bag burst just before 11 pm, no sign of any lamb 30 mins or more later, then just the feet and nose ( normal presentation ) which kept just showing and then going back, at 12 .15 am after no further progress I just gently pulled her out on a contraction.She seemd to be stuck from the eyes and forehead.

I not sure if we weren't there if she would have lambed herself.

Anonymous said...

thats all the assistance we had to give - it's not very much intervention is it.. but seems to make a difference.

I'm going to have to find out about sponging then... could make our life a lot easier....