Saturday, April 25, 2009

Evie's Story

This is Desert Peach Eve. She was born here five years ago. A mistake from her father getting threw the fence and breeding one of his daughters. I like her personality and build so she has stayed. Steve, her sire, produced daughters with very small fleeces, like 1.5 to 2.5 pounds in a year so Steve now lives with a friend and sires meat sheep. His little square body makes him great at that job. Evie looks just like Steve! Eve was in labor yesterday morning when I went out at 8:00 AM. Standing away from the others and not going out on the hill to graze. So I kept an eye on her. By 11:00 no progress was made and her water had not broken so I did wash up and checked her out. I could not find a way to the lambs and guessed she was not dilated yet. She continued to paw at the straw lay down get up and generally be very uncomfortable. She was not pushing nor had her water broke so I gave her till 2:00 and checked again, no progress! Vet time! I called our large animal vets in Chilcoot, California and was told to bring her in to the clinic which is only about 1/2 hour away.
When we got there she was checked over inside and out with a few hands and a cool scope with a camera and light. Yap, her cervix had not dilated yet. She was the hit of the horse clinic! We were placed first in line and the farrier there was so impressed. He had never seen a brown sheep nor a "miniature" one. He was on his knees giving her kisses.
It was decided that she would get a shot of Banamine to help with the cramping but if that was not successful she was to be brought back for a c-section because this could be "ring womb" when the cervix does not dilate on it's own. Everyone was sure she was not even full term because her colostrum had not come in and she was not bothered any more with cramps as she sat and soaked in all the attention.
Back in the truck with a few more syringes of Banamine for the days ahead if she was uncomfortable again and we went home. We were back around 4 PM and Eve was feeling fine and went out to the hill to get some grazing in before dark. At 6 she was still eating by the barn so I went in till the next check of her a 8 PM. Surprise! She had already given birth to a large ewe lamb, picture below, the ewe is in the middle of the picture. After an hour I checked her and she had a large ram lamb coming breech so I pulled him. He's is so big his head was stuck at her hips for a moment.
Evie is one of the smallest ewe's I have and each one of these lambs is around 7 pounds! Evie might weigh around 75 pounds and look at the first picture. After giving birth to 14 pounds of lambs plus after birth and water she is not sunk in or gaunt! Inbreeding did not make a weak sheep in this case. She'll stay longer!


~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Wow! Thats at the low end of average for a tunis lamb!!! Glad she did so well, at the beginning of the story I was almost afraid it would end bad. Congrats!

Nancy K. said...


Alice did the same thing to me one year. I was sure that she'd been in labor for hours and hours ~ if not days! I finally called the vet and he came right out (chuckling at me, I must admit) and performed an internal exam. He pronounced that Alice was not in labor ~ just extremely uncomfortable. She had not begun to dilate and it was unlikely that she would lamb in less that 48 hours...

I was so relieved that I would finally get a good night sleep! No barn checks for this shepherd that night.

When I got up the next morning, Alice had triplets (6, 6.5 and 7 pounds!) all cleaned off and nursed!!!

I called the vet. He was impressed.


Ya gotta love Shetlands!

Sharon said...

What a great story - thanks for taking the time to share it. I read to Ian the part about the large animal vet. We both laughed. I'm so glad it ended well. Happily, it's a different story this year from last.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Eve looks so GOOD! Hard to believe that much lamb came out of that body; would like to have seen a photo of her before lambing. It will be interesting to see if her lambs grow a longer fleece than her. Steve's get produce the least amount of fleece I think I've ever heard!

Kathy said...

Ya done good, Evie! You show those people what Shetlands are made of - strong stuff!