Progress

Well, attempts one through… whatever I’m up to now to get Mira to drink from a dish have all failed miserably. Milk ends up all over me, Mira, the floor, the walls, everywhere but in her stomach. I end up with a crying, hungry, frustrated lamb that just wants her bottle, and after she gets it she ends up a choking, coughing, wheezing lamb. I’ve tried giving her cold milk instead of warm, I’ve tried taking the bottle away every few swallows, but she still drinks too fast and gets choked.

She has consented to nibble on some alfalfa cubes though, which is encouraging. She’s even eaten a few blades of grass, but so far she only likes onion grass, which is unfortunate since there isn’t any onion grass left in the sheep field. My first three girls loved onion grass as well, and killed it off entirely their first summer here.

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“I’m going to eat it all out of the yard, too! I like this stuff!”

Will Scarlet is officially Troublemaker Extraordinaire of the lamb crop. I’ve pulled him out of the electric netting I don’t know how many times, and he’s even tried to squeeze through the fence into the ram pen.

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“Don’t worry, I have everything under control!”

Lady and her boys always have to poke their heads through any gap they can find. Neo may live in the ram pen now, but the three hang out together by the fence quite a bit. Lady’s sons are a fine pair of mama’s boys, very attached to their mother.

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“Look Mama! I’m as tall as Neo!”
“That’s nice, dear.”

Duchess had lost interest in Mira for a while, but today she kept following her around sniffing at her.

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“What are you doing, little one?”

“I’m grazing like a big girl! I have a piece of straw!”

When lambs are first learning to graze, they all seem to have the idea that bigger is better, and waste a great deal of time trying to eat sticks and stalks much too large to chew before they get the hang of browsing.

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“Look at this stick I found, Mama! I bet this is tasty!”

I didn’t notice Will in the background until I started reviewing the pictures. He’s constantly hanging off of Lady, unless he’s chasing Bran around. Sometimes he’s chasing Bran while Bran’s chasing someone else, which looks pretty funny. It’s like a follow-the-leader of annoyance.

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“Bran, you leave me alone or I’m telling Mama!”

Still no lamb from Nova. This is getting a bit ridiculous. Her udder is full, so it shouldn’t be too much longer. I feel like I’ve been saying that for weeks. Oh wait– I have been saying that for weeks. Sigh. I’ve subconsciously named the lamb Lazybones. There’s no one named Lazybones in King Raven, but there is a scene where Rhi Bran is trying to escape on an old plow horse that won’t run, so I’m pretending the horse’s name was Lazybones and I’m naming the lamb after it. For now anyway. I’ll probably change it once he/she is born.

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13 thoughts on “Progress

  1. That photo of Mira with her stick is priceless! Will is a lambie juvenile delinquent. Nova has decided to out- prima donna her mother. Good luck!

  2. I am assuming you have the SMALLEST hole(s) ever in the nipple so she really has to WORK to get milk. Dang. Is Nova’s lamb still moving around in there? These ‘creatures’ are making me worry 🙂 It’s my job………

    • The hole is as small as I can make it. I think the Pritchard nipples just aren’t designed to slow the lamb down, but I don’t think the larger, tougher nipples would fit in her mouth.
      I can’t really check Nova’s lamb, she starts screaming if I grab her, then Princess starts yelling, which sets off Bran and next thing I know the whole place is in an uproar. 🙂 I’ll give her a while yet, but if she doesn’t lamb soon I might get the vet out to check her over.

      • Oh Godfrey! sorry but I did laugh…………Heather has a good idea though re thickening the milk.
        wonder if the vet would have any ideas.

  3. Mira with the stick in her mouth is adorable! I can certainly see why you feel as though you may be turning grey by the end of the year . . . . it sounds like a real sheep soap opera there!

  4. When Joshua died we sent him off for necropsy. It came back a toxicity and the top of the list was alliums, which wild onions I think falls into. Maybe not, but something to check into maybe. The sheep HAD come in smelling of onions, but he was the only one that had a problem. Just something else to worry about :-/.

    • Oh yes, thank you. I needed something else to worry about. :-S I didn’t think about it being a problem, since the girls ate so much of it that first summer and it didn’t bother them. She only eats one blade at a time, maybe a half dozen total, but maybe at her size that’s still enough to hurt her? I don’t know. Thanks for the warning, though.

  5. I worked on a feeding unit many moons ago and we often had to thicken the milk because our(Human) babies–mostly preemies–would take too much formula in and aspirate. We used oatmeal which I assume is out for lambs but do the alfalfa cubes break down in the milk and thicken it at all??? Just a thought………..

    • That’s interesting, I hadn’t heard of that trick. I’m not sure if sheep can eat oatmeal or not; it’s made of oats, so I don’t see why they couldn’t. Probably wouldn’t put it in her milk, though. I’ve been putting yogurt in her milk, but the alfalfa cubes are literally cubes of compressed grass so I don’t think they’d be much good as a thickening agent.

  6. Mire with her stickie gave me tears from cuteness, no lie. 🙂 I have no idea how you can stand all the daily squee from these lambs! i think my heart would burst!

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