Out Like a Lamb….

It was a quiet, benign morning:

although as farmers we enjoyed a less-than-tranquil start as I discovered at first light that Artemisia had lambed, unassisted, in the field – two super little ram lambs, both very pretty; & both already up & suckling greedily.  I was relievedly thankful that another lambing had gone without a hitch during my typically brief absence; so I hastened to fetch the umbilical spray, delighted to see the new lambs apparently doing so well.

After completing the morning chores I caught up on some outstanding paperwork & then made my major monthly excursion into Carmarthen to collect the ‘heavy duty’ shopping – animal feed for the hungry hoardes from the neighbouring Farmers’ Superstore; & the usual miscellaneous boring-but-necessary sundries, for us.  

I returned to the Ffarm at dusk having left Tony to do the evening milking & other chores – but to my dismay despite the warm, sunny afternoon he’d resorted to bringing Artemisia & her newborn lambs into the shelter & safety of the lambing shed as an emergency case; as the first-born, largest lamb clearly wasn’t thriving despite being in apparently rude health only that morning.  

The poor little thing went downhill remarkably quickly in spite of my best efforts with copious doses of extra colostrum, ‘Kick Start’ & antibiotics; however after physical checks following the experienced advice of several experienced shepherds, it did indeed appear that the lamb’s anus hadn’t properly formed & subsequently couldn’t pass any solids; therefore there wouldn’t have been much we could’ve done for the dear little chap anyway as goodness’ knows what else wasn’t quite right inside that we couldn’t actually see, as well. 

Thankfully, his brother appears to be thriving….but it’s been a devastatingly sad end to the month; I’d much rather have had March leave us like an angry lion & tearing buildings, stone limb from stone limb; than to lose that single, precious little lamb…..


About LittleFfarm Dairy

The LittleFfarm Dairy Team: Jo - Goat farmer & Gelatiere Artigianale, plus General Dogsbody; Tony - Airline Pilot & part-time Herd Manager, Product Taster, Accounts Secretary, Handyman etc!
This entry was posted in Animals, Diary, Farming, Life, Livestock, March 2008, Nature, Sheep, Smallholding. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Out Like a Lamb….

  1. paula says:

    You’ve been having a rough ride over the last couple of days – I’m sorry and hope things begin to improve soon.

    I know it’s difficult not to beat oneself up – even if there’s nothing to be done. But hold on in there.

  2. Thanks Paula.

    It’s just one of those things – what is it they say about farming? –

    “Where there’s livestock, there’s dead stock”

    ……& we’re not the only ones by any means, most of our neighbours are having a far worse time so in an odd sort of way I should be thankful.

    In fact I gather that in Wales there’s an even gloomier prognosis – something about

    “Where there’s live sheep, there’s dead sheep”

    – so tougher times ahead!

    Sadly, things went from bad to worse on April 1st as you’ll find out as soon as I (imminently) publish the post – but having repatriated the four little lady goats from the living room back with their bouncy chums we now have a very weak & sickly, tiny ram lamb in the bedroom…not sure he’ll last the night but of course I’ll do my utmost & am prepared for the vigil ahead to keep him going; which I believe is commonly known as responsible smallholding. Oops – shame the NFU don’t agree though….!

  3. however much you know that ‘where theres livestock theres deadstock’ its still pretty bad when it happens.
    hope things get better soon

  4. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Thanks, CIG –

    you’re absolutely right; the old saying is cold comfort when all you want to do is your best, but nothing actually can be done – you just have to hope for better days….(*sigh*)

  5. Richard says:

    In the North Shropshire Marches its even gloomier and sprinkled with profanity- “when it comes to sheep, they’re either @#*%ing alive or @#*% dead”….well, that what Andy (our local Southdown guru) says.

  6. LittleFfarm Dairy says:

    Sincere thanks Richard –

    you’ve made us laugh for the first time in days – even if it does seem all too many of our sheep are “@#*%ing dying/missing/etc” at the mo….!

    Things WILL get better; & we’ve got off very lightly compared with many, I know. But these days you can’t even count your chickens once they’re mature, let alone before or after hatching; that’s part & parcel of being “not a proper farmer” ;0) I suppose.

    Call me a grumpy old cynic but if you count all the veterinary pharmaceutical companies who treat Those-Who-Keep-Goats as such, then we’re certainly not due to be given credit for our efforts, any time soon….hrrumph!

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