The last two days have been a nightmare weather wise, with gale force winds and rain battering our small slice of paradise. Springtime in Victoria is renowned for violent changes, sometimes our fresh garden shoots and early blossoms are often reduced to crumpled left overs in a few wild days.
I woke early yesterday morning and went out to check the sheep, and one of our girls was down on her side, head lifted up and peering desperately at me. She had a lamb almost out on the ground. I rushed down and pulled it out, and checked it for life, but apart from the feet which had been inside its mum, it was cold and lifeless. She had been a bit on the tubby side, had quite a bit of wet wool to weigh her down, and had laid in the wrong place to lamb.
I called for my man, who lifted her back on her feet, and she rushed off in relief.
The weather was pretty cold, with minus one during the night, so all factors added up to go against the poor little lambie. Mum just couldn't get up to clean and feed it. We left the baby there for an hour or two, and she stood about twenty feet away and just looked ..... a sad and lonely little lady. My heart really went out to her.
It was pretty distressing, considering it seemed a healthy lamb, and has since caused me to stumble around in the dark late at night and early morning to check on the other three ewes who are expecting. Last night I fell over in the mud again and landed on the broken wrist. I felt a slight crack, and thought I had re-broken it. But it seems OK, thank heavens!
We wondered whether we might source an orphaned lamb from a local farmer, and I read up on the net about skinning the dead lamb with the amniotic fluid intact, and tying it around the orphan. This apparently works at least 50% of the time, but the thought of bottle feeding a rejected baby with a broken arm put me off big time, so we buried little bubby. Poor bereft mum is off with the flock again getting on with her life, so we will too.
The other lamb is doing well and we put a ring on his tail yesterday, which was a steep learning curve, but we couldn't find his testicles to ring those! They just wouldn't drop down for we amateurs. Our sheep farmer friend is coming over soon, so that will have to wait until then.
On a happier note, we went to see our friends' cavoodle puppies on Saturday. They are now 5 and a half weeks old and cute as...............
All have now been sold and will go to their new owners at 8 weeks. Glynnis will miss them now they are all cuddly little people, but she is running out of newspaper!
... Author Unknown