Thursday, April 11, 2013

Adventures of a Stay-at-Home Mom, Raising Bummer Lambs, Day 4

The new lamb saving device I bought this year.
 (Beats the home-made version I'd been using!
"Another one bites the dust" (Yeah, you know the song) That's what played in my head as I walked into the garage (barn) to begin my "morning rounds." I wasn't planning on blogging today about lambs because I didn't feel I had a lot of new information to share. (As of yesterday) But that's how fast things can change around here! I last reported "All was well" at our 48 hour mark, but between 48-72 hours (yesterday) things went south for a couple of my babies. Just when I think my mad lamb saving skills are pretty stellar, I get humbled once again! There is no longer a "Coco" to my "Chanel." About 7:00PM I did my rounds before mixing milk (which consists of a quick assessment of whether I see any of them in immediate distress so I know if I need to start with a particular problem first) I noticed that "Coco" was at the bottom of a lamb dog pile. These little guys love to cuddle together and sometimes they can squish each other and I think that's what happened in "Coco's" case. I immediately rescued her from the corner pile and did what I could, but it was too late, the little thing passed right there in my hands. (I don't care who you are and how tough you think you are, that is hard!) And as soon as I handled little "Coco" I saw that another one of my flock was in immediate danger. (There is a certain look they get when I know they need immediate nourishment, beyond just a bottle feeding.) I have seen this look enough to know that if I don't intervene immediately there will be more disappointment coming. They look something like this: ears in a downward (almost like they are sad), they crunch their little bodies up in a hunched position, they shake or quiver, are weak and show no desire to eat even though it's what they need most. I saw this look in another of my babies just after losing "Coco" and I jumped to immediate action. I grabbed the stomach tube, syringe and milk and went to work. I got the tube in and did a good feeding. Then put "Oreo" in his own stall with a heat lamp real close and within 5 minutes he jumped up and ran around. (I almost wish I had a video of what it looked like from where he was before my intervention to after, I promise you would not believe it.) It was just what he needed, right then and there. This is where experience is on your side. I've seen this "look" a lot and have learned to intervene without hesitation. As of my morning feeding "Oreo" appears to have made a complete recovery. And now to the last report. I had another black and white speckled lamb "Spots" that was giving me slight signs of the look last night. Not to the extent that "Oreo" did, but enough that I put him in his own stall with light and he had a good middle of the night feeding, but this morning he had passed as well. Darn! Even though I tried my best and did everything I could for all of them, it's still a real bummer when they pass on my watch!! So out of the 19 I started with, I have lost 2. Losses are just part of the deal. They aren't fun, they're really disappointing, but it's something you have to learn to handle. You are always lucky if you can get past the 72 hour mark and not have lost a single one! I must say I'm still a little heart broken over my little "Coco" but will keep up the fight to not lose anymore. Here's wishing you a fantastic day from the lamb pen!

Here's a look at "Coco" and "Chanel" on their ride in my pick-up (otherwise known as the "lambulance") This was the day they were born and I picked them up. ( I had 6 more in the backseat!) It's a good thing "Handy Husband" really loves me, and has plastic floor mats! (This is his "nice truck") RIP little "Coco"

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