Wednesday, March 30, 2011

In my lambing kit

I actually need a bigger container to carry stuff books are NEXT to my kit...they are probably the MOST important thing I have...reference material so I know what to do..and these books by Laura Lawson are my favorites. I also keep a notebook and pencil so I can write stuff down....dates and times of well as meds I administer..times and doses.
This is a new buy...shoulder length gloves. Last year I almost lost a regular glove and decided that this year I'd spring for some gloves with length. I still need to find my lubricant though, it jumped out of my kit at some point and I can't find it. If I need something before I get some though, I can always use dish soap. Yuck..but it works.
I keep colostrum in my kit just in case, the bottles are in the house and ready to go. I hope I never have to use it though, colostrum from the mother is sooo much better than bagged.
Various syringes and needles for injections.
Feeding tube. I haven't had to tube a lamb yet, but I did have to tube a calf. I was pretty freaked out before hand, and always swore up and down I'd never be able to do it..I'd have to call a vet...but when it came down to tube him or bury him..I did it..and you know what? It was pretty easy. I look at things that freak me out as learning opportunities..and I think that there is very little I can't do when it comes to animal care.
A thermometer. If you call a vet the first thing they're going to want to know is if the sheep is running a fever. The normal temperature of a sheep (except in hot weather) ranges from 100.9F to 103.0F.
Nutri-drench. ALL newborn lambs get a squirt of this, it provides them with vitamins and minerals and energy. Basically it gives them a boost right after birth so they have the energy to find the teat and nurse. stuff off I guess? Probably left over from when I was tagging and tattooing this fall.
Iodine and an umbilical cup. The first three things you do when a lamb is born: clip, dip and strip. Clip the cord, not too short, trim it to about 2inches. Dip it in the cup with iodine and make sure the cord is covered in the iodine...this prevents bacteria from travelling up the corn into the lambs blood stream. Finally you strip the wax plug from the ewes teat so that they lamb can nurse easily.
Injectables. Always have an antibiotic handy for hard births that required use of the shoulder length gloves. Vitamin B helps the lambs system absorb the energy source (the lamb drench), The vitamin A helps the lambs immune system to start developing, which is especially important if they get chilled at all. I keep the calcium gluconate for the ewes. Milk fever can kill a ewe in a very short amount of time, so getting the calcium into her system quickly is imperative.
Various gels and pastes...and a drench gun. Lamb pastes to boost their systems, the Today tubes are filled with an antibiotic gel that I use if I have to do an internal on a just insures that they don't get an infection in their uterus. I bought the eye gel this year because I'd never seen it before and I had JUST gotten done dealing with some sort of cat conjunctivitis. Having an eye wash/antibiotic in a kit is always a good idea because you just never know when you're going to need it. I keep the drench gun in the kit so I can worm the sheep when needed, or if I need to get some sort of medicine by mouth into them.
Probiotic's...a ruminant's best friend. Anytime you give antibiotics, it is a good idea to give probioitcs. If a ruminant loses the good flora in their gut they will go downhill fast. This particular probiotics it apricot smells divine ;)
Little fleece lamb jackets for lambs that get born in cold weather. Yeah, like that will ever happen in VT :P
This is a new addition to my kit...and one I hope to never have to use.
Betadine for cleaning my hands or other equipment.
This is something important that lambs get as soon as they are born. Most people get a BoSe
injectable from their vet, I just use the gel. If you live in a selenium deficient area you need to make sure the lambs get a good shot of selenium and vitamin E as soon after birth as possible. If they are selenium deficient they can develop white muscle disease and die. stuff..another thing that was left over from the tattooing.

There are a few other things I need to stick in there, molasses to add to the ewes water for after the birth. It helps her by giving her some quick energy. Paper towels, cotton balls, old ratty towels for drying off the lambs and your hands, my camera, the lamb scale to weigh the lambs after they are born. You need to make sure they are growing and getting enough milk. I'm sure Ill think of a few other things..this is only my second year so I'm still learning and adding as I go.


TeresaR said...

Holy wonders how lambs were ever born and survive pre-human intervention! That's more stuff than I ever carried in my diaper bag, which I thought was always over-flowing. How the heck do you remember all that stuff to do??

Well, I feel like I've just gone lambing with you and am exhausted and need a drink. :}

Stace said...

I'm kind of lucky in that I picked a primitive breed...the lambs bounce when they hit the ground...and I could probably get away without giving the injections and drenches...but it just gives them a bit more of an edge. Sheep die pretty easily. Baa'rack is fighting pneumonia as I type...No one else has it...but I think I might vaccinate the flock against it just to be safe because a sick sheep is hard to notice..until they are so sick they're almost dead.
Im thinking of adding tequila to the lambing kit...for me.. :P LOL

Kimberly said...

Holy gee-moly! That's a lot of stuff to remember and keep up with. Thanks for making this post for us!

Chai Chai said...

Stace - Great list, I had to go picture by picture and compare it with what I have. I am so hoping I never, EVER, have to use the ewe spoon (prolapse retainer).

Terri said...

Do you give your lambs BoSe when they are born? That is in my "kit" as well. I don't have a prolapse retainer, have never needed one (fingers crossed)...
How many lambs are you expecting this spring?

Stace said...

I have 5 ewes that were put in with the rams. Not sure if all of them took or not...but it's looking pretty promising. :)
I haven't had an issue with the lambs being selenium deficient, I give them the paste the day their born and every day for the first week. I have also added extra selenium and vit E to the mineral mix their mothers get.
I really should have the bose in my kit though, along with some oxytocin for retained placentas, the vet that was reccommended to me though seems hesitant to come out for sheep, the times I've called him he has counselled me over the phoneand told me what to give, how much or that I was doing everything right, but never said "if you have anymore issues ill come out"....not very many big animal vets here and there are a lot of big dairy's in the area so im sure thats what keeps them going.
If I have any issese with white muscle disease Ill switch from the extra in the mineral mix and the paste to the bose and try and figure out how to get the vet out here for a measly 12 sheep.