Sometimes sheep need assistance to get lambed succesfully. By succesfully I mean that hopefully the outcome will be a live sheep and a live lamb.
For what ever reason ewes do occasionally struggle, it is our job to try and work out when to intervene and when is best left alone. I always prefer leaving alone but there are times when intervention is necessary.
This ewe put a great deal of effort into her labour, there were some enormous pushes came out of her
When a ewe really pushes and strains on for a duration it is expected that the view might well change, two feet? a nose even?
On further inspection there was no doubt a big lamb was trying to head into this world, the size of the feet and the strength of the bone on its leg said it all, the other leg was tucked up, doing a grand job of putting the brakes on, making the bulk greater than it ought to be for sliding out of the ewe.
This lamb had found the mucus removed from it's nose as soon as the nose had come into the open, do to my intervention, it is one of the first things we all do, ready for it's first gasp, the least slutter there is for it to draw onto it's lungs the better. The above photograph also illustrates how easy it can be to lose a lamb at this stage. Should the sheet on the lamb not have broken and the ewe decides to take a well deserved breather before springing to her feet the lamb will find itself either breathing in all the fluids or basically suffocating in 'a plastic bag'. By the time the ewe gets to her feet it is all too late. Lamb is dead. Suffocated.
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