Saturday, April 21, 2012

Azalea's Difficult Lamb

Today started out like any Spring day in the Northland, with snow. The poor flowers just don't know what to think.

It really is beautiful, especially when you know it shouldn't last too long - hopefully.

A cold snowy day, just perfect for someone to decide to lamb. I headed out to the barn on a hunch and found Azalea in hard labor, things were not going well.

I went to the house to get my mom, just in case I needed help. Azalea was having contractions but nothing seemed to be happening. I gave her as much alone time as I could but when she started to cry out I decided to go in and see if I could help. What I saw gave me pause, I could see two little hooves but nothing else. At just that moment both my mom and I heard a "pop" and it looked like the sack holding the lamb had broken. I needed to get the lamb out now. I gloved up and got in behind Gardenia just as the lambs nose peaked out. The nose peaked out twice more during contractions and the third time it cleared I saw it take a breath though its nose! I held on to the hooves to keep the nose from going back in as with the lamb now trying to breath it would surely suffocate. Azalea was still pushing but she was exhausted. Her mom Gardenia was calling to her now from the other stall, I was starting to tear up. My mom came in to help work her flesh up around the lambs head. After several minutes I was able to work first one leg and then the second out and the extra room finally allowed the head to emerge. He was still breathing!

Azalea started cleaning him off immediately although I was worried that she didn't get up off the ground to do it. Since she was down I decided to clear her nipples so the lamb could nurse.  Azalea was obviously exhausted and it took her some time to gather the energy to stand up.  I took advantage of the time to dip the lambs cord in iodine and to get his weight.

The little one was named Bronson, a big tough name for a quite large Cascade lamb (7 lbs 12 oz!)

Berkley watched the whole process with the concern of a close relative, a cousin in fact.

Bronson looks more Icelandic than Soay, it is interesting how these Cascades show both sides of the family tree.

He has long legs like his cousin Berkley and has to kneel down already to nurse. He is a beautiful jet black color.

Since little Bronson is still wet and the temperature is still below freezing he gets to wear a sweater like the rest of his kin. I think he looks quite precious. I am a bit worried about Azalea as she is showing a bit of bright red blood, I need to keep a close eye on her.


  1. Now, that is something I don't think I could do! Glad the little guy is OK.

  2. Bless your and Azalea's hearts....glad her lamb made it and so hoping she well be ok!

  3. Wow, is that lamb C.U.T.E.!!!

    Hope Azalea is doing better.

  4. Good job, Azalea! Happy birthday Bronson

  5. Aw, he's such a wooly little cutie! I bet momma was glad you showed up just in time to help. He'll be crowhopping around the daisies this spring in no time. :o)


  6. Ian - If you had to in the moment I'm sure you would rise to the occasion.

    Niece - I was really worried, I even sent the Commander in to the house to call the vet (who wouldn't have came anyhow). Thank you.

    Carolyn - I checked Azalea this morning and it looks like the blood has stopped! She is up and around eating away.

    Nick - Thanks Nick.

    Faith - So happy to see you again, hope things are going well. Azalea didn't flinch when I jumped in to help, I guess that showed just how bad things were at the time. Bronson is a big one, he is ready to get out and about!

  7. Every time I see one of your sheep have a new baby I think that is just the cutest lamb ever. Until the next one is born! Bronson is a doll. What's up with all these boys? You only got one female, right? I'll have to go back and re-read the post to see if I missed any! Congrats on the new baby!

  8. Lynn - So far I have 2 Icelandic ram lambs, 2 Cascade ram lambs, and 1 Cascade ewe lamb. I have one Cascade and one Icelandic left and each should only have a single lamb since they are first timers. So much cuteness bouncing around outside!

  9. OFG - I did forget to stock up on the medicinal alcohol...

  10. He is adorable! Hope he and Azalea do well.

  11. Teresa - They are both doing great, her bleeding has stopped and the ram is bouncing around.