Weaning Time Approacheth

It hardly seems possible, but Mira and Bran will be 12 weeks old and ready for weaning next weekend. Mira’s actually making a good start on weaning herself; she hasn’t been as enthusiastic about her bottle lately and didn’t finish the last couple I gave her.

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“Princess says bottles are only for babies, and I’m a big girl now!”

Hard to believe she’s the same lamb who spent her first few days having to be force-fed by syringe a few drops of milk at a time, every couple of minutes around the clock. She’s still a tiny, delicate little thing for her age, so I wouldn’t object to her taking a bottle for a little longer than 12 weeks. If she doesn’t want it though, I’m not going to force her to drink it.

The other lamb of weaning age doesn’t have the size excuse for staying with his mother longer.

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“What? I’m tiny and delicate, too! I’m just fluffy!”

Poor Princess has to lift her back leg like a dog for Bran to reach her udder. I think he’s big enough to wean.

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“But not me, right? I’m just a baby! I’m not ready to be weaned!”

“Little” John is not so little anymore, but he’s less than six weeks old so he’ll be staying with Nova for quite a while yet. I’ll probably let Will Scarlet stay with Lady a few weeks longer than usual so he and Johnny can be weaned together.

Or at least that’s the plan, unless Will becomes too impossible and I have to kick him out. He’s been picking fights with Nova a lot lately, which means Lady and Princess end up fighting a lot over whose baby is picking on who. Will and Neo both turned into absolute brats at right around eight weeks old, so I think I’m going to have to speak to Lady about her discipline problems.

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“Me? Bratty? I’m a sweetheart!”

The trouble is that Neo and Will are both such charming brats it’s impossible to get very mad at them. For me, anyway. The other ewes don’t seem very charmed. They’ll probably all be happy when the ram lambs move out of the girl pen, and into Liam and Neo’s pen.

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“We’re just a couple of poor hungry wethers, and we never ever get any attention with all those lambs running around…”

I’m sure Neo will be happy to have some smaller boys in the pasture. I imagine he’s tired of always being the smallest.

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“I can almost– reach– the crunchies– gak! Can’t breathe!”

He’ll probably always be the class clown, though. Silly Neo. You’d think he’d figure out that he gets choked if he pushes his neck too far through the fence, but he keeps doing it, then having to pull back, coughing and spluttering.

I remember when I weaned Neo he fought the halter like crazy for about 75′ from the ewe pen, then collapsed to the ground and refused to get up. He kicked me in the face when I tried to carry him, so I ended up dragging him all rest of the way across the pasture to the boys’ pen on his stomach. Later that evening when Liam was delivered, as soon as his hooves hit the ground he also collapsed and had to be dragged through the gate on his stomach. I’m not sure what I’ll do if Bran is that stubborn, I think he’s too big for me to drag. I suppose I’ll just figure it out when it happens.

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