Karras Farm specializes in breeding East Friesian Dairy Sheep. We have been in the dairy sheep business since the late 1800's starting in Greece. Four generations later we are still commited to breeding the highest quality and genetically pure East Friesian Sheep in the world. In 1994 we moved our operation to North Carolina with the same focus of excellence to our animals and customers.
A lamb weakened by a by a protracted or difficult birth may be suffering from Anoxia (lack of oxygen) or have fluid in the lungs. The first few minutes are crucial to the lams survival. If the lamb gurgles with the first few breaths or has difficulty breathing, dry off the nose; grasp the lamb momentarily on the return end of the upswing with your free hand so the lamb is stopped abruptly in the vertical position. This accomplishes two things. The centrifugal force aids the movement of fluid from the lungs and the weight of the Viscera presses on the diaphragm causing a forced expiration. When you catch the lamb on the upswing, the weight of the Viscera falls in the opposite direction causing a forced inspiration. Normally two or three swings will get the vitals performing normally. If the heart is beating and the lamb is still not breathing after this exercise, artificial respiration is mandatory. Grasp the lamb by the nose so your thumb and fingers are slightly above the nostrils and respirate until you see the chest expand. Repeat this procedure until the lamb begins breathing. Please be cautious not to blow too hard as the labs lungs are quite small and can be ruptured by excessive pressure. If your attempts are still unsuccessful sometimes a cold water shock treatment will do the trick. Dunk the lamb in cold water, such as a drinking trough. The shock may cause the lamb to gasp and start breathing. Sometimes a finger inserted gently down the throat will stimulate a coughing reflex and get things going. After the lamb starts to breath, be sure to keep it warm and have it checked by a livestock veterinarian asap.