Monday, March 03, 2008


Sheep.........bad week this week, but thats what keeping sheep can be like. Last Monday one of our French Ouessants lambed in the field a full term dead ram lamb.........at least it was dead when I eventually found it and I suspect it had been born dead. Mum had wandered off and was not at all bothered........mental note to watch her like a hawk next time as has not got a lot of mothering instinct about her. Then on Thursday the nicest of the French Ouessants lambed....a nice live ewe lamb. The next day all was apparently ok but not the next..........lamb was balling its head off and was very hungry, mum had mastitis which is hopeless in sheep....no milk, hard udder teats not working......So lamb was bundled off to the house to be bottle fed and ewe started on 5 day course of antibiotics.........lamb took to the bottle quite well but I felt there was something not quite right.
Gradually as time went on the lamb suffered a creeping paralysis and died. On investigation its mouth which I thought was noisy when feeding proved to have no soft palate and the roof of the mouth was all wrong, hence not being able to suckle the ewe properly......a congenital abnormality which I suspect also affected the central nervous system. Heho.........we lambed 50 ewes last year.......nearly 100 lambs! and lost one stillborn lamb that was one of triplets. Otherwise apart from those we lost to sheep worrying all survived........everyone said we were lucky and I knew we were .........seemingly not so lucky this year but thats farming!

3 comments:

La Ferme de Sourrou said...

Hi Val,

We've lost a couple of lambs so far this year too. You do your best but these things happen. xxx

We've almost finished lambing and next month it's Angora kidding time. I can hardly wait. :-)

Kate said...

Just found your site whilst looking up how to paint old caravans, bad news about the lambs, it's so gutting to have a stillborn. We've had a pretty hairy run of lambing this year as well, but alls going smoothly now, fingers crossed. Also your hedge laying article is pressing me to get onto ours, if memory serves correctly it's harder work than it looks.

Val Grainger said...

Hi Kate

Well since those lambs we have had a nice ouessant ewe lamb and nice twins from a Dorset Down cross Wensleydale ewe.....all fit and well :-)
Few more still to go! Hedges are great to lay....it is hard work but its all in the technique rather than the brute force!