Thursday 21 September 2017

'He didn't make it 24 hours' - Baby lamb who was brought back to life after being warmed in the oven dies

Suzanna Crampton in the kitchen of her home in Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny, with her lamb Teeny Tiny, which she is keeping warm in the oven, watched by her dogs, Big Fella and Pepper. Photo: Dylan Vaughan
Suzanna Crampton in the kitchen of her home in Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny, with her lamb Teeny Tiny, which she is keeping warm in the oven, watched by her dogs, Big Fella and Pepper. Photo: Dylan Vaughan

Catherine Devine and Claire Murphy

A newborn lamb who was put in the oven to keep him warm, has died less than 24hours after he was born.

Sheep farmer Suzanna Crampton brought the lamb called Teeny Tiny back to life when he suffered from hypothermia after birth.

Teeny Tiny weighed less than a pound when he was born along with his twin brother on Monday night.

Suzanna, from Bennettsbridge, Co Kilkenny warmed the little lamb gently in her oven, hoping to give him a fighting chance.

Suzanna feeds Teeny Tiny
Suzanna feeds Teeny Tiny

“The poor little thing died. He took a turn for the worst on Tuesday night and died at around 2am," Suzanna told Independent.ie.

 “Usually when they’re that tiny their lungs are underdeveloped and the hypothermia put extra strain on his lungs.

“If I had found him sooner he would have had a better chance at survival.”

Suzanna tried to keep the little lamb alive by keeping him warm.

“I was trying to keep him going but he didn’t live more than 24 hours. He was such a sweet little thing.”

Suzanna said Teeny Tiny’s twin brother is “thriving”.

“He was three pounds bigger and is flying. He’s a jolly, big, bouncing lamb. He’s loving that he has him mammy all to himself.”

Suzanna, who has been sheep farming for almost 20 years, uses some unusual methods to help the frailer members of her flock, including a tip she picked up from a vet on social media.

"You need a huge needle and syringe and inject warm, sugary water directly into the abdominal cavity. It heats the lamb inside out," she said.

Suzanna was lambing as an apprentice in the Wicklow/Carlow region in 1980s. She went to agricultural school in Vermont in the US and worked on training horses before returning to Ireland almost 20 years ago.

She now has more than 60 rams, ewes and lambs in total - as well as three alpacas who are like "flock guards" - and produces wool for her company Zwartbles Ireland.

Her pet dogs and cats are also getting used to seeing lambs in the kitchen.

"My alsatian dog is good at cleaning the lambs. We as humans would warm up the lamb with a blanket but the process of licking the lamb is a huge stimulus," she said.

"I love and trust my dogs, but I would never leave them alone with the newborn lambs," she added. "The dogs have a wolf instinct and I would not trust them with it."

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