Wednesday, December 23, 2009

A Situation

My Rambouillet ewe had a beautiful black ewe lamb with the exact markings of Othello, my Merino ram. She was in the way back of the barn, and had slipped behind a fence. Mom was very upset, and calling for help. By the time we got to her, Mom was extremely nervous about anyone touching her baby. Now, Mom weighs well over 200 pounds and is big as a pony. I confess I was a little nervous about picking up and handling her lamb. The fact that she was quite wool-blind didn't help. Matt hooked a halter around her wooly neck and pulled while I walked backward with the lamb in front of her nose. We had to go all the way through our very long dairy barn, with Matt being pulled all over by this giant sheep. I had to let one mom go to make space for the new pair. I would have been thrilled by this gorgeous new lamb, especially a female, but she has a big umbilical hernia - a bulging of the intestines outside the belly-button. I called the vet hoping Dr. Rachel was on call. Dr. Johnson called back and told me to bind it up with duct tape and to go ahead and feed her. I poured Betadine over the bulge and covered it with sterile pads, then bound her all around with the duct tape. I hope Mom leaves it alone. Maybe the sweater over it will help. Matt held her while I milked her one working udder out and clipped the wool from around her eyes. All this took two hours out of my very busy night, but critters come first. Now to go back and check on Joseph to make sure his mouth is warm and he's on the teat. Bunnies and chickens still need tending to. I think I will tidy up the apartment tomorrow morning, provided there are not more lambs during the night. Thank goodness Mia and AJ are coming to give me a hand for a couple of days.

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