I will survive!

As we trundled over the soggy field to prepare the stable for Stripes impending birth, we did not expect to find this little beauty waiting for us. Meet Gloria!

Stripes hips had started rotating the evening before so we thought we’d have a couple of days yet to prepare the stable and get her settled. She wasn’t showing any signs of being ready to drop just yet, so we were in no particular hurry. Oh how wrong we were!

It was clear Stripe hadn’t bonded with her new lamb when we found them, this was her first, and it’s not an uncommon occurance with new mothers. The lamb was laid shivering in the corner still covered in its birthing sack, looking just like skin and bone.

First thoughts were we need to try and get her to suckle on her mum and get some of the nutritious colostrum into her body. Unfortunately Stripes teats didn’t seem to be producing milk. New mothers can sometimes have their teats blocked by a waxy build up that forms a plug. With a bit of warm water and gentle massaging, the teats were soon cleared and the milk was flowing. Progress!! We thought ….

Gloria had other ideas. She seemed too weak to suckle and wouldn’t keep the teat in her mouth no matter how much we tried. The only option now seemed to be starting her off on bottle feed as a last resort. A quick rush to the local agricultural supply to grab a bag of artificial colostrum and some milk replacer and we were ready to try giving her first feed.

At this point we weren’t sure wether she was going to be strong enough to survive. It really is heartbreaking to see a mother reject her lamb. But as we brought the bottle to her lips she started taking on the milk. A little fighter!

We couldn’t leave her with her mum overnight in the cold stable as she just wasn’t strong enough. And stripe didn’t seem to care for her, trampling all over and moving away when she tried to get close. So a trip home for Gloria it was.

Cue more sleepless nights ….

To be continued.

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