[Jacob-list] Unfortunate lambs
peg at sweetgrass-jacobs.com
Sun Mar 6 11:48:44 EST 2011
Hello, Johann. I'm sorry to hear about your lambs. We haven't had
experience with abortions, so I can't help you with that. I did want to
tell you that years ago, one of our ewes had full sized triplets, along with
a fourth very small fetus. I also nearly missed the tiny one, big enough
for me to tell it was a ram. I assumed that the mother had "run out of
room" early on, and that the fourth one simply stopped developing. Since
the lambs are in a sterile environment, they don't decay - and there was
nothing foul (no odor, whatever) associated with the tiny fetus. The other
three were fine and she raised them all. Hope that this helps to answer
half of your problem.
peg at sweetgrass-jacobs.com
From: jacob-list-bounces at jacobsheep.com
[mailto:jacob-list-bounces at jacobsheep.com] On Behalf Of Johann K
Sent: Saturday, March 05, 2011 9:40 PM
To: jacob-list at jacobsheep.com
Subject: [Jacob-list] Unfortunate lambs
One of my ewes aborted two lambs yesterday, and they were at very different
gestational stages. The larger one was pretty far along, with wool starting
to grow in. Hooves were still soft and jelly like with the actual hard part
only half grown in. Eyes not fully developed yet. When I opened it's eyes
they just looked dull and foggy. It was a beautifully marked ram lamb
though. I'd say it was due to be born within the next few weeks to a month.
It's twin was only a fraction of it's size. So small that it came out still
in it's sack and I didn't realize there was a lamb inside. I just thought
it was some after birth. As an afterthought I broke open the sack and found
it. It had no wool at all yet, and ears completely flat against it's head.
The bones in its skull had not fused yet, and I think it may have been a
female. It was so small that it was hard to tell. I figured that maybe the
smaller lamb had died for whatever reason weeks or even months ago and the
mother's body finally got around to rejecting it with the good lamb in tow.
Now, I'm starting to wonder though. The small lamb didn't seem rotten, or
any more dead smelling than the large one. Is it possible that they were
two separate overlapping pregnancies? I've read this can happen.
The ewe gave no signs that anything was wrong before this happened. She had
been active and energetic as usual. After aborting she just went about her
usual business eating and following me around shouting. I read that an
infection can be a cause for abortion, but it wouldn't explain the huge
difference in developmental ages. Before I disposed of the them I took some
pictures of the bigger one.
I know it's too late to do anything, but I wanted to share what happened
since it seems so strange.
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