birth Category

  • Live triplets

    Adventures, birth, Lambs, SheepComments (1)

    On April 13, 2014 • By

    so my first set of triplets didn’t work out. The very next day, I had a pleasant surprise awaiting me at 5.15am – another set!

    After a couple of days inside, they’re now happy as can be out with the rest!

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  • Ducks & ducklings

    Agricultre, birth, death, Ducks, PoultryComments (3)

    On April 13, 2014 • By

    A few weeks ago, I ordered some duck eggs online. 6 came, and I put some of my own in too. The eggs were due to hatch this week, which they did, with mixed results.

    I was a little concerned with the eggs, bought off eBay, as the packaging was damaged in transit.

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    Nevertheless, in they went, and four weeks later, out pops this wee one

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    In the meantime, Innes and I had been busy getting things ready for the adult ducks. They’ve been roaming around for a while, but plans were afoot to get them penned up permanently. Firstly, we dug in the paddling pool for them.

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    Then this week, I had Feisean nan Gaidheal’s Coig Latha group visit on Tuesday. They helped build the run for them, as well as learn lots about all the different animals.

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    So the ducklings have now hatched

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    And will be in the brooder for the next wee while, nice and cosy. 4 of them made it out alive, while a further 3 died during the hatching process. I’m not sure why the mortality rate was so high, but I fear a couple of power cuts in the latter days may have had something to do with it.

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    Soon enough, they’ll be able to join the rest in the run – happy days!

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  • Lost Triplets

    birth, death, Lambs, SheepComments (1)

    On April 13, 2014 • By

    My start to lambing 2014 has been tough. I’ve been really busy this past week, so I haven’t been keeping the blog as up to date as I would have liked. I’ve been posting updates on the blog facebook page, but I prefer to keep the blog as a more permanent record of crofting activities.

    Anyway, last Sunday was a tough one.

    Around 6pm I noticed that one of my sheep due triplets was prolapsing. I phoned the vet and got her penned asap.

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    The vet came, fixed the prolapse and then said that the sheep had started lambing. This was actually the first prolapse that I’ve seen and was surprised at how quickly it was resolved. The lambing itself was a slow process, as the sheep took a long time opening up. At this stage, we believed the lambing had caused the prolapse, maybe due to ring womb.

    After about 2 hours work, the lambs were out. All 3 alive, and all 3 female. What a high!!

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    I had fully expected them to be dead, but was over the moon that they were alive. I left them for a wee while and came back to make sure they were on their feet and had fed. They hadn’t.

    I was getting more & more concerned about the black ones, as they were weaker and quieter. I took them into the kitchen, to make sure they were warm, dry and fed. It didn’t take long for one of them to die though.

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    I took the two live triplets out to my parents house, where we made sure they were fed and left them under the heat lamp for the night.

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    At this stage, the white one was looking strong. It was walking about and drinking from the bottle. The black one wasn’t as strong. By 9am, the white one had died, and the black one was gone shortly afterwards.

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    Heartbreaking stuff. I’ve spoken to the vet since then and deduced that the prolapse sent her into early labour, meaning the lambs were born before their lungs has correctly formed. There was little I could do, which is a shame but also reassuring.

    A week on from then, the ewe is still not back to normal. She’s a little flat and obviously in discomfort. I’ve given her penicillin during the week, but the vet gave me an anti-inflammatory and stronger antibiotic to give her. Hopefully that’ll do the trick.

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  • Tough night of lambing

    Adventures, birth, death, Lambs, SheepComments (1)

    On April 5, 2014 • By

    And there endeth my good start to lambing.

    I’m sitting at home, buzzing and deflated, if that’s possible. Had quite a dramatic evening; looked out my window at 9pm and saw 4 legs up in the air. You don’t need to be an expert to know that’s not good. A sheep had rolled into the ditch. Fine, I’ll go get her out.

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    When I approached, I thought I saw a rabbit run away, turns out it was a lamb! I knew there were two, as she had been scanned for twins. I quickly put the sheep on her feet and waited for the second lamb to come. And carried on waiting….

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    She hadn’t really made any effort to give birth to the second one, so after about half an hour, I put her in the trailer and took her out to the barn. I checked to see if I could feel anything, and all i could feel was an ear and the top of the head. Not good.

    I had a few goes but no joy at all. My neighbour Roddy came around 10.30, and got to work. He’s very experienced and figured out that the lamb’s head had twisted 180 degrees. He worked for about half an hour, before we decided to call the vet. Did that and we carried on. 5 minutes later, the lamb was out, so I cancelled the vet before he’d left his house! Now, you’d think a long, stressful birth would guarantee the lamb was a goner, but no, it was ALIVE! I couldn’t believe it!

    Not a happy ending though :( it became apparent very quickly that something was wrong. It wasn’t breathing. We tried the usual tricks, I even attempted a kind of kiss of life, but no. It died. Gutted.

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    I think I’d have rathered it be born dead, instead of putting me on that roller coaster. Was horrible seeing the lamb alive but just not able to breathe. It’s lungs just weren’t up to it.

    The other lamb is ok, and I just hope the mother is too. It was quite an ordeal for her. I gave her penicillin, along with some food & water. Hopefully that’ll do the trick.

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    Sleep now, alarm set for 5.15 :/

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  • Lamb 2

    Adventures, birth, Lambs, SheepComments (1)

    On March 29, 2014 • By

    I’ve been totally KOd for the past 24 hours with a cold. I’m trying to nip it in the bud today and tomorrow, so that I’m not under the weather for the whole week. I haven’t been near the sheep all day, until my neighbour pointed out that another lamb has arrived!

    A cracking ewe lamb.

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  • Lambing begins

    Adventures, birth, Lambs, SheepComments (3)

    On March 26, 2014 • By

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    Yes, the day is finally here. My first lamb arrived in the middle of the most glorious weather we’ve had this year.

    Today was my first early start to check the sheep, as the sheep weren’t due to start until today anyway. I’ve been keeping an eye on them, but this was my first time in before 6am.

    Anyway, mid-morning I noticed one sheep on her own. She was due to be one of the first to lamb, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I told myself it was just a coincidence.

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    A couple of hours later, I was doing some work in the same field and all the sheep came out to see me. Except for one. She came out part of the way, then stopped, lay down and out popped the lamb. What a beauty.

    A really nice ewe lamb. Definitely a keeper, if it develops as it should. Didn’t take long for it to get on it’s feet. Delighted!

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  • Progress

    Adventures, Agricultre, birth, Ducks, Lambs, Poultry, SheepComments (0)

    On March 23, 2014 • By

    I’ve been quite quiet on here in the past fortnight, mainly due to the fact that I haven’t been at home for the past 2 Saturdays. Last week I was in Inverness for the day, and I’m in Cambridge this weekend, visiting my brother Innes, with my brother Murdo. Here we are attending Charlton v Burnley yesterday, as part of our day out in London. It wasn’t a very good game….

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    Last month, I made public my plans for Air An Lot 2.0. I have been working away on this, behind the scenes, and have secured grant funding from Comunn na Gaidhlig (CnaG) for 65% of the cost of a new, bilingual, website. This site/blog won’t be affected, as I enjoy having the vent for all my activities, but I will be incorporating it into the new site. I also need to finalise my application for grant assistance to CnaG for bilingual external signage.

    That’s that side of things taken care of, but I’ve also put a lot more thought into what activities I will be offering. I have drawn up a list and costed them, but I’d be happy to hear suggestions anyone has, or any enquiries about attending. You can comment here, or private message the Air An Lot facebook page.

    Back on the croft, there has been plenty of activity. The incubator has been switched on again, this time with some duck eggs. I hope to see some movement here around the 14th of April. I’m a wee bit worried, though, as I bought the eggs off the internet and the packaging was damaged. We’ll see what happens!

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    The most exciting time of year is just days, maybe hours away. I’m expecting the first lambs over the next couple of days – I cannot wait. There are 3 Cheviots due to lamb this week, with the rest in the days after. I’ve felt a bit of stress recently, with my day-job and freelance work, but hopefully lambing will provide a good distraction – and plenty of physical stress!!

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  • Improving chick

    Agricultre, birth, Chickens, chicks, PoultryComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    The poorly chick from the other day is doing a lot better now. Great progress

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  • Ducklings

    Adventures, birth, Ducks, PoultryComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    I ordered some Khaki Campbell duck eggs on Friday night (rock & roll, I know) so I’ll put these in the incubator once they arrive. I already have a couple of KCs, but they’re not very friendly and I rarely get eggs from them. I managed to catch the female yesterday.

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    She had a failed attempt at hatching eggs last summer, so I thought I’d take matters into my own hands. I’ve tried to source some locally, but no one seems to have any. 6 ordered just now, so hopefully it won’t be long until I have some very cute ducklings!

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  • Sick chick

    birth, Chickens, chicks, PoultryComments (0)

    On March 2, 2014 • By

    I had 6 chicks successfully hatch this week, but had a bit of drama with one of them on Thursday night.

    I was away in Skye on Wednesday-Thursday, coming home Thursday evening. My mother had been keeping an eye on the chicks and all had been well, until I popped out to see them once I’d got back. One of them had got stuck between the water bowl and the brooder wall. It was wet, cold and only had the tiniest flicker of life. I grabbed it, ran into the house, fired up the incubator and put it back in there. I didn’t think it stood a chance

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    What a difference some warmth made though! Within an hour it was back up on it’s feet. It was still a little wobbly for the next 24 hours, but now it’s back in with all it’s brothers and sisters!

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