It seems a long time since my last post about Mist. I have been seduced by big cities and having fun now it's back to the laptop and writing. My typing has lapsed aswell so this is going to take a while!!
I'll start again in Autumn 1999. The rams had been in with the ewes since September and done their work well, but one of the ewes who had until then always been served without a problem had not been covered. On looking at her a little more closely it was obvious that she was already pregnant. Shock horror I hear you say, well may be not, but we were surprised. The rams are kept away from the ewes except at tupping(when they strut their stuff] so how was she in lamb? And when would she be due? Then we remembered that one of the rams by the name of Wally [by name but obviously not nature] had been in with the ewes for a few weeks in May. Now normally ewes would not be receptive in May but there is the exception to every rule and Number 8 was it!! One mystery solved and it also meant we would have some idea of when the ewe would lamb.
On the 12 of October we bought the ewe into one of the buildings so that we could keep a closer eye on her. During that night I woke up and felt that I might aswell go and check on the ewe, and I'm glad I did. She had started lambing and when I checked her the lamb was in the breech position, i.e. back legs coming first.With this presentation it's imperative to get the lamb out as quickly as possible otherwise it risks drowning in it's birth fluid, this is because the cord breaks before the head is out of the birth canal and the lamb takes it's first breath. So I grabbed hold of the legs and pulled the lamb out, cleared its mouth and it was fine. Luckily for me and the lamb the ewe was quite happy for me to assist her in this way. If I had had to go for help from the OH it may well have been too late! Waking up in the middle of the night was also very lucky.
So one healthy lamb. After a few days in to get aquainted we let Mum and lamb out with the other ewes, we named the lamb Autumn, well you would wouldn't you? I think it confused the other ewes to see a lamb at that time of year and the Agnelles[that seasons ewe lambs] were very taken with this funny looking creature. Life was proceeding smoothly the weather was mild and we were enjoying one of the more peaceful times on the farm.
Then on the 26th November the NIGHTMARE began. We were working outside when the ewes started bleating loudly, and not a bleating that we recognised. You may think that one bleat sounds much like another but this is not the case, we had learnt to recognise the usual calls that the ewes made to each other but this sound was very different, it was urgent and you could hear distress in it. We ran to the field and found the ewes huddled in one corner and in a far corner Number 8 was standing by Autumn who was laid out in the grass, we thought she was dead. Her back legs were covered in BLOOD but she was still breathing, when we looked closely she had big holes and tears in both hind legs. We took her straight to the Vet fearing the worst, and not knowing what animal had caused the damage.