Sunday, April 14, 2013

Muttley had a baby

Muttley gave birth to a big ram lamb today. She has a big udder to feed him. So far, she's an attentive mother.

Muttley was born last year on my mother's birthday, March 16. She was delivered, along with her brother, via c-section. The dam, a ewe I called Dumpling, had to be euthanized immediately after the delivery. She had developed severe problems in all four of her feet. I diagnosed it as septic pedal arthritis. She had infections in the feet that had not responded to treatments. Just prior to the c-section, she had finally gone down, after standing for weeks. She had also stopped eating much. Dumpling had a story of her own.

Muttley and her newborn
Muttley and her brother were bottle-fed from  the beginning. Both got sick when they were 48 hours old, but responded to antibiotic treatments. I wondered if the infection in their mother's feet had somehow transferred to them. For the next five weeks, Muttley and her brother nursed aggressively from their bottles and played with vigor. When they were five weeks old, they got sick again, especially Muttley. I treated both lambs, but focused on Muttley because she seemed to be the sickest.  Her brother died.

I saved Muttley. One of her problems was constipation. It took a fleet's enema and castor oil to get her to finally turn the corner. For several days, I fed her pedialyte in a bottle. It took a long time before she returned to her vigorous self.  But eventually she did. She has grown into a nice yearling.

As a Lacaune cross, I decided to keep Muttley for breeding.  I hope it turns out to be a good decision. Muttley's breeding is Katahdin x Dorper x Lacaune x Hampshire x Suffolk (hence her name). She is more than 50 percent wool sheep, so will likely need shearing. Her tailed was docked.

No comments: