Animals, Around the Homestead

Lambs, lambs, and more lambs…

Mom is off today so she can try to keep up with the babies dropping at home.  We are guessing 12-14 babies last night.  Two more ended up in the house to bottle feed.  One fell into some sort of bucket for a water line out in the lot.  They are buried in the ground and supposed to have lids on them (it’s a new house and I’m not sure everything is completely finished out in the lots), but between the sheep and the wind it had lost its lid and a baby fell into it.  Dh found the baby in the bucket sitting in stagnant water.  Yuck!  We tried to get one of the new mamas to claim it, but we have no idea how long the baby had been there and no one would take him on.  So, into the house he went.  Then, there was a set of quadruplets (or so we thought) we left for last to move to avoid confusion.  By the time we went to move them the mama had kicked one of the babies to the curb.  It was the runt and didn’t look like the others, so it may not have even been her’s to begin with, but I felt bad for the little thing.  We put her in the pen with the mamas and babies again hoping one of them would latch onto her.  No luck!  I warned the little lamb when we got to the front door of the house if we got a dirty look when we walked in not to take it personal.  She’s a crier too, so I bet that made last night pleasant for mom, dad, and the four other lambs.  Dd keeps saying he has more babies in the house than in the lots.  Not true, but close.  He has five babies to tend to in the house.  There are boxes and dog kennels everywhere.  We are hoping to get them all into the stock trailer and onto buckets over the weekend, but it’s going to take some doing. 

Tuesday a mama had twins (his Romanovs have had a time this year) who weren’t doing well.  One of them was born with a crooked neck, the other just never had much life to him and didn’t make it.  Dd said mama probably laid wrong and got the babies turned funny, so they didn’t grow correctly.  Once we took the one with the bad neck in and got her warmed up we started working with her.  She took a bottle better than any of the other lambs and fights so hard to stand up on her own even though the odds are stacked against her.  Dad, however, was discouraged and told me to go set her with her mom, but she would probably never nurse and never make it.  So, we put her in the stock trailer with her mean mama and peak in on her from time to time to find her fighting to get rolled over so she can stand up or up on all fours staggering around the trailer.  Last night dh and I pinned mama in the corner and got the baby to stand on her own and nurse from her mama nearly on her own.  She isn’t strong enough to hold her little head up on her own “yet,” but Randy and I have vowed to work with her every evening if Dad agreed it was worth the effort.  He said he has had them grow out of it and their necks have straighted out as they have grown.  So, we are going to make an effort to work with her and hope we are not just prolonging the inevitable.  If she wasn’t such a fighter we probably would have all given up, but she won’t back down.  She will kick her little body around until she finds her feet, take a bottle with no effort at all, and when we tried to get her to nurse she was a pro, like she’d been doing it all along.  We most likely got her nursing off mama in time to get colostrum from her which will only help her grow stronger.  Wish us luck!  The little girl has a long road ahead of her, but as long as she keeps fighting we are going to stick with her.

I know I keep promising pictures, but I haven’t gotten it done yet.  I will get some taken today and with any luck at all have them posted Monday!  Last night one of the babies inside had actually gone hoarse from crying.  She won’t take a bottle very well (so she’s not growing like a weed or anything), so Dad is spacing her feedings further apart in hopes she will get more aggressive at feeding time.  She just squeaks like a mouse in her little box because she has no voice left.  She has a buddy now (the little boy who fell in the water bucket), but is still squeaking away  : )     She is the smallest lamb I have ever seen in my life.  I found her Tuesday out in the lot by herself getting butted around by the other mamas for trying to steal a gulp of milk here and there.  Her little mouth was getting cold, so she became orphan #3 (Dad already had a set of twins who were abandoned in the night Monday). 

We are trying so hard to keep it all straight, and I know Dad is discouraged with the lack of organization.  He’s always so good with the sheep and has everyone squared away.  The dm, dh, and I all working full-time and picking up the pieces in the evenings it’s just too hard.  Too much happens during the day when we’re not there.

I will be off tomorrow and hopefully be able to tend to things as they occur.  I’m leaving even earlier today than I did Tuesday and Wednesday.  My Avon order comes in this afternoon, so I’m hoping to get done with chores early so I can get home and get it checked in and bagged up for delivery tomorrow.  Sometimes selling Avon seems like too much, but it’s helping us get one step closer to paying off our bills and having me at home full-time.  In my mind it’s worth it!~Smile

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  It’s going to be a yucky weekend here weatherwise, but the show must go on like it or not : )     They are even calling for a low of 26 Saturday night.  Our peach tree is past the blossoming stage, our crabapple is in full-bloom, and our newly planted grapevines are well on their way.  Hope everything hangs in there.  We will really miss crabapple jelly if the freeze gets them!

Oh yeah, I pulled another baby last night and it is up nursing and doing well.  Yea!

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