Normal Presentation:

With normal presentation, the front legs are extended forward with the head resting centered above the front legs.   The lamb will be delivered front toes, head, body, hips, and then the back legs.   Assistance may be needed with large lambs. Carefully and firmly grip the lamb's front legs below the knee and above the dewclaws and pull the lambs towards the ewe's hocks.

Normal Presentation



A breech lamb can be delivered with little to no problems IF, the back legs are extended up and coming through the birth canal first. Assistance may be need as described in Normal Presentation.

Front Leg Back:

This presentation can be identified by finding one leg and the head. The other leg is turned back, and is either caught under the ewe's pelvis or back against the lamb's body. When sliding your hand along the side of the lamb you will feel the shoulder of the turned leg and the direction the leg is pointing. Firmly push the lamb back into the uterus by applying pressure to the shoulders of the lamb. Continue to hold the normal presentation leg, and use the other hand to manipulate the leg turned back. With the lamb further back more space is available to feel and move the leg. Pull the knee forward first. Then slide the front of the leg up and forward along side the other front leg. The lamb is now in normal presentation, and it may be pulled.

Front Leg Back
Head Back

Head Back:

The head position will have to be corrected before the lamb can be delivered. The two legs will be presented but no head. Sliding a hand along the legs will lead to a wall of lamb. Go to the left and feel, if you feel the shoulder, the head is on the right side. On the right side your hand will slide along the length of the lamb's neck till you reach the head. Apply pressure to the front of the lamb to lower it back into the uterus with one hand. Using the other hand, wrap the fingers around the lambs head. Gently push the head down and towards the front legs. With the head pointing forward, align it on top of the front legs, and deliver the lamb.

Breech No Legs:

When checking out the ewe, you may see only the tail or the rump presented. By running a hand along side the lamb the orientation of the lamb can be determined. The lamb may be backwards with the legs tucked against the body. If the lamb is small, sometimes the legs will fold up under the body enough, and the lamb will deliver normally. One thing to be aware of is that the hocks may get caught on the pelvis and not allow delivery. On the small lamb pushing in and pulling the legs to the body will allow the lamb to come out. The best procedure is to carefully push the rump of the lamb back towards the uterus to provide more room to work around the lamb.   With the lamb down carefully keep one of the legs folded and turn it up towards the birth canal. Slowly extend the leg and attach an OB chain to prevent the leg from slipping back down. Repeat the process with the other leg, and pull the lamb.

Breech - No Legs
Breech - One Leg

Breech One Leg:

Correcting this presentation will be just like correcting a breech lamb with no legs presented. Apply pressure on the rump of the lamb to push it down towards the uterus for added space to manipulate the leg. Make sure to keep a hold on the leg that was originally extended as the other leg is moved into position. After the leg has been corrected and brought up into the birthing canal, carefully pull and deliver the lamb.

Two Lambs at One Time:

Realizing there are two lambs coming at once needs to be determined quickly. Presentations may be more than two legs or maybe two left legs. Feeling around and determining what legs belong with which head may take a little time. Start by following one of the legs to the chest. Feel across the chest and up to the other leg. Untangle the legs if needed. Follow the leg back to the chest and up the neck to the head. Try to form a mental picture of how the lamb is positioned. Move to the next set of legs and repeat the identification process. If one lamb's body is further from the birthing canal, carefully pus it to the side and pull the other lamb. Immediately go back and pull the second lamb. With twins, it is not uncommon for one to come head first and the other to be breech. A rare occurrence is conjoined twins. If conjoined twins are the case, call a vet immediately, more assistance will be needed.

'Two Lambs at One Time

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