Wednesday, May 09, 2007

That's farmin'

Well,
I know I need to write about it....even if all it does is make someone else feel better about their efforts.
I don't feel better about mine, but I tried.
We lost a pregnant ewe yesterday. She was two, had not been exposed the first year.....and she was carrying twins.
I found her in the morning, she had passes the first water bag. I found the wet spot. I didn't know how long she had been in labor....so I made note of the time. I checked her for two hours, and no, there wasn't any real progress.....but....it was her first pregnancy. I gave her some more time. But, I knew it didn't look good.
I had my helper, husband, change back into work clothes, trimmed my nails, and got sudsy water for lubrication.
OK....I'll admit....the first thing that I said when I entered her was...."she isn't getting lambs out this way."
Here is where it hurts to be rural. On good days our vet is 45 minutes away.....on alternate days he is in the next county. That wasn't an option....this was an alternate day.
So I finally pushed the breech tailed body out of the opening in the pelvic bone. I reached in as far as I could....but there was no head. I tried for the hind legs somewhere near the tail....they were pinned between that twin and the next twin. I flexed legs....seemed like the next twin had front legs forward....I pulled those....but no head was available. With my arm jammed in as far as I could reach, I tried flipping the bodies and pulling at the rear legs. Nothing that I could do with one hand seemed to pull a head withing reach. Well, I already knew the opening was way too tight to get the rest of my arm in. I could tell that there was no life in the lambs' bodies. I tried to think of what to do....the legs on the second lamb indicated it's head was maybe too big to fit in the opening....even if I could find it. The lambs must have tangled during contractions....my one hand wasn't going to untangle them. This is where helper husbands get the raw end. "Go get the gun"....he let go of his end of the ewe and went inside. Twilight left this world with her lambs, Dusk and Dawn....sorry Twilight. It was one of those bad positions, an accident of the birthing process. A bad joke by nature, which gave you a too small pelvic bone. I was right when I first entered....you weren't going to have lambs that way.
My hand bruised and swelled in an hour....my arm either had the circulation cut off....or nerve damage. Today, except for being black and blue....and sad that I couldn't help....I'm better.
That is farming. We have our successes, we have our failures. Some we can learn from....some just happen. At least I was there and could understand why it happened, and why I had to lose her. I still have 5 ewes who are fat....no one seems to be in a hurry to have a lamb....and for that I am grateful.
The moms and their lambs have jumped thru the water in the creek and gone out into the garden of eden.....it looks that lush....small trees all over for the leaves....grass and clover so tall the lambs disappear. Some things about farming are nice.

2 Comments:

At 3:47 AM, Blogger Nancy K. said...

I am so sorry

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

What a very tough position to be in. Thanks for sharing the sorrows as well as joys....

 

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