It was a big single lamb the ewe gave birth to. While the heart beat, the lamb did not show any other signs of life,it seemed to be comatose. Some lambs revive after swallowed fluids have been cleared, but with this lamb that was not an issue. the shepherdess worked on it for a very long time, breathing into its mouth/nostrils, (the closest action to the kiss of life) to try and get the lungs working, applying heart massage to keep the heart beating and vigorously swaying with the lamb to try and get it breathing and bursting into life. Eventually, the shepherdess had to accept that this was going to be one lamb she could not save.

Later, the shepherdess, whose arms and wrists ached from her earlier efforts with the unfortunate lamb, explained that the lamb had probably been a bit too big, there had probably been more growth in size and underdevelopment elsewhere. Mum, she said, was an old ewe.

The ewe was resting in the big barn. She watched me intently. To me, her sadness was palpable.

P1000438 Lamb died copyP1000436 Loss copy

The old ewe’s pen was some distance away from the pens where a few more new lambs were cosseted with their mums. The ewe in this picture was not in the least bit worried by my presence and she even seems to have proudly posed for me.

P1000430 Proud Ewe copy


0 thoughts on “LAMBING.

  1. Though I don’t wish lambs to lose mums, I hoped there might be a spare lamb from a ewe that had too many to care for, that could be introduced to the ewe, if she’d accept one.

  2. So sad, big pity. The sheep on our hill look pretty well ready. They were all in a line down the hill, sheltering against the stone wall against the storm when I last looked. Some look wider than they are long.

  3. Oh that is sad 😦
    That pour soul must have changed its mind at the last minute.
    ‘ Nope, sorry mum , – I’m not staying here – I’m going back home ‘
    I hope there is another ewe there who had a lamb too many .


  4. At this time of the year, unless we have particularly good days, Bushka, we do not see the young lambs out and about, because they could be killed off by the cold and damp.

    Last week while we had some calm days, I got some pix of a few lambs about a week old, with their mums in the field. We’ve had such extreme weather conditions for the latter part of this week, it would be too risky to even have tried to let lambs play out at such an early stage. The upshot of those aspects is, I have not seen the latest batches of new lambs and ewes, to know whether there have been any spares.

  5. I think animals feel loss in their own but recognisable way, a feature of animal life not always appreciated by people with little involvement with animals. It is another feature of life and death.

    A neighbour’s dog grieved for a year or so when their older dog died. The two dogs had been great companions. In that case, I believe that if the two humans had been home more, the dog might have recovered a bit sooner. Nevertheless, the dog took time to recover and did.

  6. It would be helpful if a spare lamb appears. As the weather is so awful now, I am unlikely to see what happens on this front, as the ewes and their lambs will be protected in a large open barn till their lambs are strong enough to handle the elements. Where I live, they can be very harsh.

  7. The ewes brought near to the farmhouse close by, are usually ladies in waiting, with birth imminent. As you say, wider than long. They are free to roam in other fields prior to time, where they are regularly checked.

  8. Indeed, that is so. The farmers also have to be watchful for other wildlife like foxes and daft people who let untrained dogs out for runs, or out for walkies without a lead on, amongst pregnant ewes and young lambs.

  9. In France, we are silly ! We had no wolf nor bear a long time ago, and we have reintroduced these animals !!!

    The sheep farmers are very angry ! We give them money compensations for all the wasted cattle and we pay staff to look after these wild animals…

    In this case I’m OK with English to eliminate useless spending !!! Wolf and bears are no utility, and are dangerous for humans…

  10. There has been talk of reintroducing wolves and particular types of hunting birds. The Scottish Wild Cat is an endangered species, I do not know what is being considered about the cat. I have not heard anymore talk recently about re-introductions and conservations of species. Bears were not native to the UK, as far as I know.

  11. I think ecologists are total silly !

    Human does not need all species of animals. If sharks and crocodiles disappear, the biosphere would not disappear. And human is in danger.

    On the other hand, the disappearance of bees is really a disaster for the humanity… But ecologists dont say nothing on that ! They are what ? Misanthropist ? Are they hate the human race ? Do they wish the collective suicide of the humanity ? I hate these madmen who are regrettably free…

  12. What you say about bees is so interesting. We have heard lots of discussions and seen lots of international publicity on the concerns about the population of bees. We fully understand their importance.

    In this country, there has been something called a ‘bee watch’. Volunteers are given a little necessary training and they make proper records of bee colonies, the behaviours they see, and when the bees go. In this way, some understanding is gained of the bee populations in the different parts of the UK, and without a doubt, if there are any concerns about disease, it can be acted upon quickly.

    There is active research on what may have caused some of the problem with the bees. Once there is some idea of cause and effect, preventative action can be taken.

  13. In France, we are late on this point, as usual… And people who are worry are scientists and somme amateurs…

    But French farmers are worried by their profitability and the ecologists occupied with making the humanity return to the age of the cave men…

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