Monday, July 28, 2014

Birth Of our Lamb Sansa, and My First Time Pulling a Lamb

Our herd before the birth of Sansa

Thomas our older lamb resting after a hard day
This last Easter my family was invited to a Seder at our church.  As part of this traditional meal we had lamb for the first time.  Our whole family fell in love with the taste, it was delicious!  As I looked around at stores though the price of even small amounts of lamb was outrageous.  We would never be able to afford to buy it. 

Trying out those legs
So I started looking into buying lambs and putting them on our back pasture which is just sitting empty.  We really need to get some animals out there because the grass is getting out of control.  I ended finding a great deal on sheep and lambs from a man reducing his herd of Barbados Blackbelly Sheep.  These are not the fluffy white sheep you think of, but a hair sheep so they kinda look like goats.  They are reputed to have a sweeter milder meat and are very hardy.  I got each lamb for $40.00. They will be ready to butcher this fall, which I will be doing myself.  So it works out to $1.00 per pound or less!  You don't feed sheep grain as it can cause problems.

Sansa at one day old with mama

I bought two lambs and two ewe's.  One already had a three day old male lamb on her and he will be ready for butcher right around Easter.  The other was pregnant and just yesterday she gave birth!  Unfortunately  the birth did not go well and I had to step in and "pull" the lamb. After talking to a vet I had three choices, take her into the vet which meant catching her and somehow getting her into my van, having the vet come out which meant a huge bill, or trying to help her myself which many sheep, cow, and goat owners routinely do.

She is so pretty!
 Meaning I had to reach inside her and figure out what was wrong, if the lamb was not  positioned right.  This was after my daughter and I chased the sheep for an hour.  I fell three times and twisted my ankle before we finally got her cornered and my 16 year old grabbed her around the neck and held her while I pulled the lamb.  This was my first time having to reach inside a pregnant female and I was scared to death.  I had a birthing kit ready with sterile gloves, lubricant, iodine and paper towels for clearing the lambs face just in case of a complicated birth.  I had a book with how to assist and different mal-presentations, but still, there is no substitute for hands on experience.

After feeling around I found the feet and head (praying it was the right head in case of twins) and began to pull the baby out.  It was still alive which was a surprise with how long she had labored.  Slowly I was able to pull the lamb out and it was alive!  I wish I could have had pictures but my camera was dead.

It is a girl who we have named Sansa.  Her mother is called Catelyn.  Catelyn is turning out to be an amazing mother and little Sansa was standing in less than ten minets  and went  to nurse right away without any help.  She was very vigorous right from the start which was a relief to see after the birth.  I had to put a antibiotic bolus into Catelyn to prevent any infection.  Both lamb and ewe are doing wonderful and little Sansa is adorable to watch bouncing around.

Here are some Pics of my Chickens who are always curious about what's going on at the farm.  The black and white striped is my favorite hen. She is very friendly and whenever I come into the pen she follows me around and sings to me.  I haven't named her yet so any suggestions are welcome.


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