Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lambing - Day 2

I got to the farm for 7am.
I got out all the lambs and ewes which were born during the night, and put them into the smaller pens. I dipped the lambs navels in Iodine so they they do not get infected, and I squirted 1 pump of 'Spectam' into their mouth, which prevents them getting 'Watery Mouth Disease'.
I then strawed down all the 4 X4 pens and gave them fresh hay in their hay racks, and strawed down the big pens.

Because the weather last night was really stormy, one of the older ewes died in the lambing shed and 8 lambs were found dead in the field which were just a few days old.
Louise went up on the quad bike and checked all the lambs in the fields, and brought back the ill lambs with their ewes and put them in the small pens in the shed under heat lamps.
We fed all the big pens, and gave the small pens 1 level scoop of sheep nuts.

Then I went up on the quad bike to feed some sheep in the next field up - and I slipped on the mud when I was getting off the bike :P !!

There is another girl there today on Work Experience called Charlotte, who has applied for Vet School this year. Louise, John, Charlotte and I went up to the far field on the quad bike (John drove, we were in the trailer) and we bought back more ill lambs and ewes. We loaded up 1 ewe and lambs into the trailer, and walked down 8 ewes and their lambs into the shed. They all went into one of the big pens we made free.

John, Charlotte + me went over to the new shed to vaccinate the 90 ewes we had left from yesterday. ME and Charlotte made up the 10ml syringes of Engemycin, while John turned and injected the ewes.
The problem that they have can be vaccinated against, but as they weren't aware they had the problem until recently, they were too late as they should be vaccinated before 'tupping'. (Tupping is another name for mating, which is done in August for the lambs to be born in March.)

After vaccinating the ewes, Louise showed me and Charlotte hot to stomach tube lambs which are not taking milk from the ewe, or that refuse a bottle. You can tell by looking at the lamb if it is not drinking as its stomach is small, once full it is big and round.
After milking a ewe, you have to put a catheter tube attached to a syringe with the plunger removed into the lambs mouth and push it slowly down the lambs throat. When it is down the throat, you have to listen to the end of the syringe, and if you can head breathing you are in the lungs, not the stomach, so you have to pull it out and try again. The syringe is filled with milk and it slowly trickles down into the lambs stomach. Another few lambs were born today, so I took the lambs out by picking them up with their front legs and making sure the ewe follows. The lambs are held by their front legs so that the ewe can see and small the lamb and will follow, and it also allows you to carry twins in one hand and open gates etc with the other hand. If the ewe does not follow you have to imitate the sound of the lamb and the ewe usually follows. I then dipped the lambs navels in Iodine and gave them Spectam.
After filling up the hay racks and changing the waters, I left the farm at about 4pm.

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