Foster Lambs at Topsy

Three sleepy lambs on Kyle’s lap, warming up

Rain plus wind plus cold equal hypothermic conditions for newborn lambs. Just as the flock was at its peak of lambing for the first heat cycle, the awful weather conditions hit.

A newborn lamb needs to be licked thoroughly and nudged towards the udder to get a bellyful of warm colostrum in the first half hour, for best survival. If the ewe is birthing twins or triplets, or the ewe is inexperienced, sometimes one or more lambs have to cope with less than ideal mothering. The species has survived through the eons with good instincts.

Unfortunately, one of those instincts is for the mom to save the first born, to put energy into keeping one alive, under cold driving rain conditions.

Its our job to rescue the hypothermic abandoned baby.

Christopher and Jacob and sometimes Ian have been checking each group of the flock, about 5 times a day (which translates into almost constantly, with breaks to deal with problems discovered and for much-needed food for the shepherd.) When they find a lamb that is just too cold, with an empty tummy, they get involved. One technique is to milk the ewe right into a big syringe; stomach tube the lamb; get two or three syringefuls of warm colostrum right into its tummy, then bring it back to the Frame House.

Kyle and Sally are caring for the foster lambs, but others get involved. For the first few days, the big dog cage was in the living room, with a heater and a couple of Rubbermaid containers and a shopping box pressed into service for the coldest lambs as snuggly cribs.

We ran out of old towels, flannelette sheets and old blankets when we were inundated the second evening with a ‘lambalanche’ of cold wet foster lambs. I called a neighbour in desperation. She came rushing over with 10 absorbent towels, sat on the floor in her bare feet and old clothes, and helped rub and cuddle a cold shivery lamb.

She’s an ordained Anglican minister, and as she sat in the midst of our muddle, with Kyle rubbing three sleepy ones to stimulate circulation, and Sally trying to feed a needy one, she said “This is my idea of heaven.”

The mud puddle lamb, having his fourth rinsing in eucalan and warm water

 
Contact Us Today:
Email: info@topsyfarms.com

Local: (613)389-3444
Toll Free: 888-287-3157

14775 Front Road, Stella, ON K0H 2S0

Click Here For Directions to Topsy Farms
Kindly Subscribe





Follow Us
Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedinyoutubeinstagram
Wedding gifts
Canadian wool blankets and comforters make great wedding gifts.

Copyright © 2016. All Rights Reserved.

Nous vous invitons à communiquer avec nous en français à info@topsyfarms.com, ou par téléphone: 1-888-287-3157. Demandez à parler à Sally.