Day 2.

The second day of Crazy-Cold-Winter-Lambing went something like this:

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“Ooh, Sweet Baby!  I missed you!  How are you doing?”

The Beach

This is The Beach – a barrel-turned-lamb-heating-chamber.  I defy you to locate another Sheep Hotel with a built in Beach.

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Ah – here’s Little Georgie.  What a beach bum.

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Martha acquiesces to the enormous show of affection.

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“Awww, Silly Ones! Hot tip: there’s another nipple on the other side!”

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“Awww – Good Momma!”

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“Agnes – you’re such a good Momma!”

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Lamb selfies.

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Sweet sigh.

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Grossly over-exposed, yet…capturing the tender bond between twins?  A bit of a stretch.

(Family exits stage left to spend a few hours running errands.)

Upon our return, we find a cold, crying Martha being butted by Agnes and completely prevented from nursing.   Agnes has rejected her ewe lamb.

Agnes has rejected her lamb.

Agnes has rejected her lamb.

What?!?!  After 36 hours of getting along swimmingly, you’re just pitching her out?!

What is a rookie Sheep Midwife to do now?  With shaking hands, I consulted The Book and found a litany of possible remedies, like slathering her in birthing fluid (long gone by that time) or covering both her backside and Agnes’ nose with scent-interrupting sprays or petroleum jelly.  Some of the suggestions sounded like downright  voodoo –  ‘flick her ears repeatedly with a switch until she’s unnerved enough to urinate. Sometimes this works.’ (I paraphrased.) I hastily tried a few things (not the ear thing) but was forced to come to terms with the fact that Martha was now a bottle lamb.

It’s a little like finding a newborn on your doorstep, except that it’s just a lamb and not a baby, and a lamb can sleep on the bathroom floor at night while it’s too cold for it to survive outside.  Pull the frozen colostrum out of the freezer.  Find the bottle – where the hell is the bottle?  Gotta go get a bottle.  Supper?  I have no idea what we’re eating.  Didn’t we just eat at lunch time?  STOP ASKING ME THAT! Weekend plans: shot.  We’re not going anywhere unless the lamb comes along, which doesn’t bode well for the carpeting.  A bottle lamb.  Should I try selling her?  Give her away?  Cue the photos from above.  Not. A. Chance.

A bottle lamb, while her mother blissfully nurses and keeps warm (for free!) the other lamb she gave birth to and hasn’t turned out.  A bottle lamb.

 

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3 Responses to “Day 2.”

  1. Meganwf says:

    I know we should not apply human feelings to animals but I woulda little peeved at Agnes! How dare she!? Also your posts continue to remind me how amazing you shepherds are!

  2. Julie Drigot says:

    Hi, I’ve been bottle feeding a lamb since January 3rd. (There was that time when the ram got in with the ewes). Anyway I’m enjoying your photos and all. We still have Darcy the lamb in the house because there are no other lambs out there and he’s too little to be shoved around by the rest of the flock. We’re using lamb milk and lamb feed along with some hay to stimulate him and hopefully get his rumen functioning. When this happened I was away for the weekend and my husband found the lamb almost frozen in the morning. With my help remotely, he didn’t discover who the mom was until after he had given the lamb a good hot water soaking. It was several hours before he re-introduced the first time mom to her lamb and by then, the lamb didn’t smell right to her. Wer’e enjoying the little guy in the house, along with the cat and the two dogs. My husband thinks his wool will be nice and so we’ve wethered him. He’s a corriedale. and we’re so far not planning to eat him.

  3. amysue says:

    If your weekend plans bring you to Madison, the family and Martha would be welcome at our place. We don’t have much carpet. :)

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