Rammi is the third of the triplet lambs that just delivered. I cannot tell you how many times I have checked on mama lamb (AKA Spotted Face) over the last three weeks. Imagine the relief when I walked in and all three lambs were out!
Lambing is easy, as long as there are no problems. The other night, when I found the lambs in the stall, all was not well. The third lamb was still in its sack and not breathing well. The doctor inside me took over. Basic rules of resuscitation are drying off the baby, stimulating it, warming it, and giving it oxygen. I didn’t have typical medical supplies, so here is what I used for resuscitation:
- Hair dryer. I used the Infinity Pro by Connair.
- Gloves- Ok. This is a lie. I couldn’t find any. But if I had remembered where they were, I would have used them.
I tried drying it and rubbing it hard to stimulate it, but that wasn’t enough. I didn’t have any suction and in the last lamb birth, the lamb was swung around to clear its airway, so I grabbed the lamb by its back hooves and swung him over my head a few times to remove any fluids from the airway. Don’t forget to use a towel, if you try this at home, they are slippery. Side note… any future mother I may take care of, I promise to not swing your child in circles over my head. His mom started licking him, and his breathing improved, so I went inside. I was a bit concerned though because he still wasn’t up walking like his siblings. So, I kept checking on him.
About 4 hours later, me and my blow dryer, took a trip to the barn. He was weaker, a lot weaker. He couldn’t hold up his head, so I tried heating him. This is where the hair dryer comes in handy. As I was blow drying him, he was getting stronger, but when I stuck my finger in his mouth I got real worried. It was like ice cubes. Change of plans. The blow dryer, even being a Pro, wasn’t going to be enough.
Dear Farmers Wife,
I am guessing you do not like farm animals in your home. I broke the rules. If it makes you feel better, I did it to save your husband’s lamb. I know that makes me feel better. Here is my full confession. I got scared and knew that if I didn’t do something drastic, the lamb was going to die. I brought it inside and gave it a warm bath. (I have since cleaned the tub). After drying him off, I made diapers for him out of some towels. Don’t worry they were towels I brought with me. I then wrapped him in some of my pajamas to try to contain any animal smell, dander, etc. We are taught that skin to skin contact for a baby and mom helps a baby regulate its temperature…. I did wool to cotton (my pjs) all night. I didn’t sleep at all because as Rammi was warming up all he did was make lamb noises. By morning, his mouth was warm and he was starting to eat, so he went out to the barn. He has not been back in the house since. He is now jumping around, eating like a champ, pooping like a champ and becoming friends with the other lambs.
Warmest Regards and Apologies,
That may be the end of my apology, but it is not the end of the story. When I brought Rammi to the barn his mother had rejected him. The placenta was still there, so I tried to rub him down in placenta goo. Yes, placenta goo is a technical term in Stephanie’s School of Veterinary Medicine. Mom rejected him. I laid him on the placenta. I put the placenta on top of him, but when he wiggled it would fall off. He was still rejected. I tried to put him on her teat. He wasn’t sure what to do, so I sprayed him in the face with her milk. Still didn’t work. She kept kicking him away and ramming him. No milk for Rammi means I got to feed the little guy every 4-6 hours. I am now attempting to space it out to 8 hours and he seems to be doing well. So far, so good.
He has been in the same stall as mom since birth, but she won’t care for him. Today, I let him join the other lambs. I may not have been able to get his mom to take him back in, but I am going to call this a success.
While on the topic of animal resuscitation, here is the story of Molette. It doesn’t have a happy ending. My sister had an indoor goat named Molette. At night, she slept in a cage. She wore diapers. She thought she was a dog and would lift her leg when “peeing”. There is a chance that my sister is just a crazy as I am.
One day, I went to visit my sister and her family and little Molette was very sick. They had to go to soccer, so I was left taking care of her. She was dehydrated from all of the vomiting, so we were feeding her gatorade. She was doing so much better with her hydration and even walking around. I called my sister to tell her how much better she was doing.
I kept trying to push the gatorade and next thing I knew she was dead. I knew CPR, so I wrapped my hands around her little chest and pumped the life back into her. It worked!!! She let out a baaa then, she was dead again. This time, dead for real. She wouldn’t come back.
So far in my life I have a 50% success rate in saving small animals in distress. Let me just encourage you, that you too can make a difference!