I want to tell you another story about my sheep and the lessons that they have taught me.
In a situation like that I always pray aloud. My hands are inside the ewe and my fingers have to be my eyes, telling me what part of the lamb I have hold of and how I should pull to get him out. I need God, who can see in the darkness, to direct my touch. You have only minutes before the placenta detaches and the lamb dies, in that situation. And Kiwi had been waiting for 7 or 8 hours for help, before we realized there was a problem. His head was turned back along with his second foreleg. It took almost 45 minutes for me to find his mouth, anchor my thumb in his mouth and pull his head into a forward position and up through the ewe's pelvis. Did I feel a slight pressure on my thumb between his teeth? Is he already dead?
Kiwi was born limp, and almost dead. I saw only a slight flutter of an eyelid. He wasn't breathing. I turned him upside down to drain his lungs and then quickly placed my mouth over his wet nose and mouth and puffed softly. Then squeezed his lungs gently for the exhale. In between breaths I prayed out loud, please give him life, God. Then he breathed on his own, ever so weakly, and moved his legs. But he could barely hold his head up, he was so weak.
Kiwi came into the house for his first week of life. For the first day, we drizzled colostrum and milk into his mouth to feed him. By day 2 he had a suck and was taking his milk from a bottle. 3 days after birth he stood up for the first time.
Our Great Pyrenees, Donder, was suckling a litter of puppies at the time, and each morning when I let Kiwi outside to go to the bathroom, Donder suckled the lamb, too. Kiwi soon learned to snitch milk from dog, ewe or doe, and grew very well.
Kiwi went to the Art Gallery, the Elementary School, the Farmer’s Market, the Rock Creek Fair, and even the Regional Science Fair – first as a bottle fed lamb, and then as our ambassador.