Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Welsh Lambing Night Shift...

Got the taxi there, got lost but eventually found the place. Rang the bell for 10 mins ... no-one in. Walked up to the sheds in the pitch black and there was a man there. Just a contractor the same as me, and he left when I got there!
The book with pen numbers + lambs which needed milk and stuff was in Welsh!

On my own with 800 sheep in lamb, a little old dog and loads of wierd noises freaking me out.

There was a triplet with 2 little lambs (she'd lost the 3rd) which were reallly cold so I hoiked them out and put them in a pen under a heat lamp - couldn't even find where they were plugged in at first!
Texted my friend Sian but didn't have signal to took ages, eventually she got it and said she'd come up and got a taxi there about 2 hours later. 10 mins after that the farmer came! So he explained everything to us - they pull all the lambs if they can, to stop them getting stuck or their faces covered with the membranes and dying.

There was a sheep struggling to lamb so the farmer had a look and the ewe had ruptured her muscles all along her belly and around her bag so the lamb was right down and he could hardly reach it. Got some strings tied around its head + legs after 10 mins, tried to pull it out and eventually did. Was already dead 'cos she'd lambed prematurely, the other twin lamb was so far down inside her it was impossible to get to so we had to leave her to it.
Then there was a ewe which had a head out and no legs so it was stuck, the lamb died and the head started to swell, making it even harder to lamb! Had to get the farmer back to come and lamb it which he struggled to do.
While that was happening there was a ewe with triplets trying to lamb so I went and helped her, the first one came ok but the second was its legs out and head bent right back, pushed it back in a bit and got him out, then delivered the last one - first thing to go right! :)
Then we had another ewe that wasn't due until the 10th who started to lamb - it was a tiny lamb so we tried to help it and failed, phoned the farmer and he came out - she was aborting so we just had to leave her.
Everything was going wrong and we were wondering how we'd lamb the rest of them?!
Penned up some sheep so went back to check on them all 15 mins later and there was one lambing so we helped her out and it went fine.
Did the same for the next 6 hours! Adopted some triplet lambs onto a single so that each ewe had 2 and could give them enough milk.
Fed the ewes and bottle fed the lambs at half 4.
We were just getting ready to leave at 6, checked the ewes one last time and there was one with just a head out. Couldn't leave it 'cos it would swell up and die. I lambed that and then did its brother too. Just about to leave her to it and realised she was a triplet so pulled the 3rd one! Good job we realised!
Taxi didn't come until half 6 so got back at 7ish!
Think we pulled 25 lambs, which isn't bad :D At home we only pull the lambs if the ewe is struggling and the lamb is stuck but here we pulled most of them and if she had one lamb we'd pull the others stright away instead of leaving her. So its more hands on and pulled more in 1 night than a in week at home!

We didn't stop at all for 9 hours, hardly had time to grab a drink so didn't nom my Hula Hoops in the end! Its ridiculous how they thought 1 person could do it, esp leaving them on their own having never been before! Even with 2 of us it was really hard work, probably needed 3 or 4 of us to be able to pen, feed and lamb at the same time...

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