We have been creeping around the farm so as to not disturb the new born lambs…
A newborn lamb is at odds with many things.
Eagles. They can pluck them right off the land.
Foxes. Will wait until the lamb is alone.
Birth. Some lambs get stuck (much like human babies) and if help is not there, and can die while being born. We have surgical gloves in all of the trucks, in case we run into a ewe in trouble. We do find the odd mum that has died as a result of giving birth.
Birth Again. Too early, a very tiny and weak baby might not make it.
Mum. As much as you think a ewe would remember she just popped out a baby lamb….some won’t remember.
Twins. You would think the weaker would not survive, and this would explain twins. This is not the case at all. There are thousands of twins born on this farm at this very minute, and they both have the same chance of surviving, if………mum doesn’t leave one sleeping. Sometimes mum forgets she has two.
Getting Lost. A mum and baby remember each others scent, and can memorize each others calls. If they get separated too early, there is a huge chance they wont find each other. Especially if mum forgot she had the baby to begin with. An interesting concept which some may have heard, is putting a dead lambs skin on a new lamb, to entice the newborn to feed from it’s new willing mother. Farmers also sometimes put vanilla scent on both the mum and new baby to trick a common smell. Apparently it works! We stay very quiet around the paddocks to ensure no spooked mums, run from their sleeping babies. Sometimes this require tactics, and lots of walking!
Fences. Lambs get stuck in fences, the end up separated from their mothers, and can die from being tangled in the fence. It’s tragic, but very unavoidable.
These are the main causes for lost lambs….there are plenty more, but these few are the top scenarios here.