It was a busy weekend, two sets of triplets and a set of twins had arrived. Unfortunately all three ewes are raising one lamb a piece. We lost four lambs in 48 hours and frustration was setting in on both of us. Monday we found #140, "Curl" as I like to call her because she has a curled ear, who was raising two of her triplets after losing one after birth (Her mothering skills are in question looking back at her track record)had stepped on the back legs of one lamb. It was unable to stand even after splinting so it was moved into our heated tack room. Then #5, who was the most recent ewe to deliver, only had half an udder and one of her lambs appeared to go downhill later in the day showing symptoms of lethargy and a cold mouth so it was moved inside too. #4's triplets seemed to be doing well until...Tuesday morning. Upon hearing this after S. had done the feeding, I spent the day trying to save them but in the end it was all for nothing. They died that night.
S. spent some time reading up on this issue that appeared to be plaguing our lambs. During the cold spell over half of this years lambs were born and not one died! Now with the temperature in the 30's and 40's, we were losing lambs right and left. As it turns out, with the warmer weather bacteria was the culprit. We learned how to prevent it and now we know how to prevent this from happening again. I call it learning the hard way through trial and error. Some might ask why not go to the vet and we have done that in the past only to find inconclusive answers after the cost of time, transportation and vet bills to receive very little information. Most shepherds network whether it be on the phone or online but they have better luck finding the information they need and save money. I'm headed back to the barn to check on a the latest newborn and feed Ned.
The good news is my sister received her socks AND she wears them! Unlike my other sister who I knitted socks for who LOOKS at her socks!!