My princess, my dear Eddie died in calving. It was sleeting the night she died, we didn't know she went into labor. We found her dead in the morning The calf never saw light.
While we were outside dealing with Eddie, I saw that one of our sheep had lambed. Trying to keep myself in better spirits, as Eddie's death is crushing, I went to see on the new lamb. As I checked him out I happened to look over at the old refrigerator that we use as feed storage. It is only 3" of the ground, yet there was a black lamb's head sticking out from under it. I yelled for Husband and he came jogging. He lifted the fridge and I pulled her out. She didn't look well, but I set her down and stepped back to allow the mother to go to her. She was rejected.
I scooped the lamb up and brought her into the house. As the sheep are wild because the previous owner had little to do with them, I had to run into town and pick up some lamb formula. Everything else was put on hold, while Husband tried to get some sugar water down her. She was dehydrated. She wasn't sucking. We had to force feed her. After 3 hours, she had energy again. She was able to stand on her own and was curious.
She was starting to suckle on her own. She was urinating and attempting to poop. (for those looking for info, your newborn lamb will shiver. This is good! Shivering shows that her temp is increasing. Don't put her under a heat lamp, as this could lead to pneumonia. Also a little molasses on her tongue will help give her some added energy, aiding in her temp regulation and help getting her to suck. She needs to eat to continue to warm up) We were ecstatic!
Several hours later she was limp and lifeless. She was unable to shiver to bring her own temperatures back up. I laid on the couch with her on my chest, and a towel covering us. I held her as she went through her death throes. Talking and touching her. I have no idea if this brought her any comfort, but it helped me. I held her while she stopped breathing, and continued to hold her after her heart stopped. This was about midnight. We spent 12 hours trying to save her.
I was so hoping to bring good news this morning about the lamb, rather then you having to read an entire post on death.
I started crying as I held the lamb. My dear sweet Eddie is gone, along with her calf, the lamb that we worked so hard to save is dead. I couldn't contain it and teared up.
This is life on a homestead, plain and simple. But just because life and death happens here, doesn't mean I will not or should not mourn. And I do. We celebrate both life and productive death. But all this. . .