Breech birth

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Maura, Feb 12, 2005.

  1. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You know how some days you pray more than on other days?

    Yesterday morning one of the ewes was off by herself. Since she has looked like she was ready to explode for the past few weeks, I assumed she was ready to give birth. I went out there. She asked for help, so I did pull on those little hooves a little and helped the head make way. I think she could have done it herself. At about 8:10 a.m., we had a little baby ewe. I stayed out there another 45 minutes, then went inside and watched through a window. She layed down again, so I went out again. Nothing. Everything appeared to be closed, so I thought maybe she was trying to expell the afterbirth. I'm glad I stayed out with her because after some time I noticed a little nose sticking out. That's all. Fortunately, I have small hands and pushed the head back in (and back in again, and back in again) and hunted for the front legs. The second lamb, smaller than the first, was born at 9:50 a.m. This is a long stretch between births and I was happy she was alive.

    I believe the second lamb breathed in fluid, as she developed rasping and died this morning.

    My question: I thought this ewe was carrying twins because she was sticking way out on both sides. After the first birth, she thinned out on both sides. I'm assuming the second lamb had room to drop down after the first one was born. Because she appeared to stop having labor, and there was no nose peeking out when I checked, I just thought I'd been wrong. In the future, what should I do? I'm skeptical about reaching up inside a ewe "just in case".
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Its a tough call, I can remember a year when the ewes all seem to have huge lambs and trouble gettign the second lamb lined up and out. We searched quite a few with no negative effects. Not to say its risk free or should be a matter of course, you want to help if needed and not interfere. You do the best you can. Sorry you lost #2 though.
     

  3. Maura

    Maura Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You understand. Actually, the first lamb wasn't all that big, just bigger than the second. Last year my three little ewes all had single births and one was quite large. I think it was the same ewe. That one needed help, but I waited too long to help and lost the little guy because he was stuck too long. Encephalitis (sp) took him the following day. So, now I just go ahead and help if the ewe asks for it. If you've ever been in the position, you would know that sooner is better than later when you've got a bowling ball between your legs!

    I keep learning, but I wish it wasn't at the expense of the ewes and lambs.