Heidi was showing signs of early labor all day. Then this evening, while I was bottle feeding bunnies, Tom checked on her frequently and noted a mucous plug but no other changes or pushing. I went out and noticed a ruptured amniotic sac and meconium but no pushing or emerging lamb. So I grabbed supplies and her and went in. I felt two feet and a head, but it was SO tight. She then started pushing but wasn’t making progress. I tried as hard as I could to pull the head but no luck. I tried pulling the legs, but the head wasn’t budging. I noticed the blue tongue sticking out of the mouth and knew I was in trouble. I tried to pull and tried to push the back of the head exteriorly through the rectum. I do not remember what finally worked but finally the head and then rapidly the body emerged. A huge lamb. There was no initial movement so I did a couple of swings but then there was some head shaking and breathing. Heidi was licking and I was suctioning and toweling, and he started moving and breathing better. Then she started pushing the second lamb. There was a head and one leg but the other leg was missing. I went in again for a feel and could not reach the other front leg. But I managed to pull the lamb out by the head and the one leg. This lamb did fine. Both are now dried and have eaten. Both are ram lambs. It is not clear yet if they will be mioget (golden brown) or moorit (more chocolate brown).
So that is the end of the birthing season for us. No more nighttime barn checks, no more barn monitor. We can sleep through the night for the first time since March 22nd!
We already decided we are going to take a year off of breeding. We may breed the Gotland ewes and maybe one goat for milking. We decided this not only because we are exhausted but because of the economy, our need to downsize, and thinking about the ethics of creating more animals when there may not be good homes for them. So we will take a year off and then reconsider what we want to do.
But I will say, this has been quite a spring!