Sunday, February 26, 2012

from near death to life....

Early this morning I brought home a chilled, neglected lamb from the barn.  He was one of triplets and the mother had refused to lick him off and encourage him to be her lamb.  So he froze nearly to death.  I picked him up and put him on the floorboard of the pick-up truck and turned the heat on high and after finishing up my chores, I took him home to see if I could revive him.  The warm-up in the truck worked wonders and then I force-fed him just a couple ounces of milk to get his system jump-started.  It's amazing what a tiny bit of milk can do in the body of a newborn lamb.  By the time I took him back up to the shed, he was on his feet, blatting and ready to go back to mama.  My hope was that he would get some of the first milk from his mother before we ended up taking him to the bum pen.  We are only letting the ewes raise two lambs.  The triplets and quads simply will not make it.

This afternoon we had another chilled lambie that was born outside.  He was one of quadruplets!  Two of the quads had died immediately and two were alive but the little fella pictured above was honestly frozen stiff.  A. brought him to me saying he doubted the lamb would make it, but I assured him I would give it my best.  I had seen lambs in this frozen state before be revived to health and I had seen better-looking lambs die.  This lamb was so cold that I gave him a warm bath in the laundry sink in the mudroom -- just water, no soap.  Then I toweled him off with several towels.  You can't believe how wool holds water!  I dried him further with a hot hair dryer and then force fed him some milk with a syringe and then tried with a bottle and nipple.  I got a very tiny bit down him, but he didn't show signs of sucking.  He looked much, much better, but I wasn't sure yet if he would make it.  I put him in my pick-up truck again and turned up the heat while I made the bottles for the other bum lambs.  By the time we got back up to the barn, he was perky and would suck the bottle with no problems.  Hubs plopped him in the pen with his mother and the other lamb.  We weren't sure if she would take him since he had had a bath.  Ewes want to smell that birthy, wet smell that is on their fresh-born lambs and this guy was fairly clean, even though I did not use a drop of soap.  Hubs rubbed some of  the mother's afterbirth on the lamb so she had something to smell and something to lick off him.  She didn't push him away, so our hope was that in time she would accept him.  So far, so good.  We're going up to feed the bums in just a few minutes -- their last feeding of the day.  I hope we find her mothering her lamb.



  1. What a nurturing day you've had. Sweet dreams to little lambie. I hope to hear that he made it through the night.
    And hope you have sweet sleep too Jody.


  2. G'day Gumbo Lily. What a lovely post. I too, hope the little one gets looked after by his mum. Beautiful photo. Take care. Liz...

  3. Good luck with the lambs. Been there, done that, and I know they can break your heart.

  4. Awww....loved reading this on a very snowy day in Alaska.
    Update us if you can!

    Debbie in Alaska

  5. What would those little lambies do without you? Such a sweet picture -- what an Angel you are!

  6. The face of the revived lamb makes ME feel revived.
    They are so blessed that the kind Mama of the Ranch cares for them.

  7. Oh, Jody, what a sweet, sad story! Please keep us informed on how these two guys do, please! I want to know if their mommies accept them, and if they survive okay. (Sappy me.) This reminds me of psalm 119, which our pastor is teaching us on Sunday evenings. So often, the psalmist says to God, "revive me!" Another translation says, "Give me life!" These lambs are such a good picture of that - thank you!!

  8. Oh goodness J -- sounds kind of nervewracking! Reminds me of the days when we had baby kittens and puppies at our house -- seems like there was always some tragedy to try to prevent. Hope all your little lambies make it!


  9. It really is heart warming to see how you care for the little lambs. Hope they all survive...

  10. Sweet little lambie. I hope all is well with them. You sure have your hands full with all those precious babykins.

  11. must be so sad when one is lost and equally 'glad' when you can pull one through.
    hope to hear a happy end of this story.

    take care.

  12. Ohhhh! What a day! I am such an animal lover I cried at the thought of those wee things being so cold. I'm glad you were able to revive them. I am amazed at all the triplets and quads being born! What a healthy flock! (Is that the right word?)


  13. so interesting to read....


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