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…..