Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Brand New World

Yesterday, while I was feeding sheep, we let the ewes and their lambs out for a bit. Our weather hadn't been cooperating until late yesterday or they would have been outside much sooner. Here you see Lacey and her brood, Shaun and Blessa, out in this brand new world!

I have to admit that I really love all the lambs, but Shaun and Blessa hold a special place in my heart. Their mom is one of the sweetist sheep I've ever known and they both have picked up that aspect of her personality. And Blessa will be joining the ewes when she's older - staying with us. Shaun, if he turns out the way I believe he will, should go on to sire some lambs of his own. He's awesome! But then, I am very biased, aren't I? :-)

Amanda's boys are going to be absolutely gorgeous! Both are big guys, tentatively named Sven and Ole. When I was in feeding today I noticed that one of them has a few white hairs on his head. I'll have to take a closer look at them this evening when everyone goes in for the evening.

Sven was the large first-born ram lamb. The night he was born I had decided to just check one more time on the new little family. I donned my boots and coat and went out to the barn at about 11 p.m., only to find Sven curled up in a corner, not moving! We rushed him into the house to warm him up as even his ears were stone-cold. I thought he was a goner. But, with a roaring fire in the woodburner, he soon regained the warmth he needed. I also had called our wonderful sheep-vet who concurred about bringing him in the house for the night. You see, there is always a chance that a ewe won't take the baby back. The baby then must be hand raised by the shepherd until weaning. And I hadn't done that sort of intense mothering since my own daughter was born.

Not only did we keep Sven warm, but I also gave him some B-Vitamins and the Midwestern cure-all, a solution of Karo syrup mixed with water to dilute it. The one thing missing from my lambing kit this year was an injectible dextrose solution for just such an occassion. My grandmother, being a nurse, had introduced the Karo-Miracle-Cure to me many years ago when I was pregnant with said Tablespoon in a glass of milk sipped slowly in the morning before rising took care of the horrid Morning Sickness I had - but that's another story. ;-)

By morning, Sven was jumping out of the huge box we had placed him in under his own power! He was good-to-go so we wrapped him in a big towel and trotted him down to the barn. No sooner did we get the jug's gate open than Amanda called to her son and he almost jumped out of my arms! He headed straight for the "Milk Bar" for breakfast. (I had milked Amanda using an EZ Milker I bought just for this kind of situation and fed Sven through the night with a bottle.) It was great to see her accept him without any problems at all.

The only one who was being left out was Skittles! All he had seen for the past two days was the comings and goings in the barn. I'm certain he was wondering what on Earth was going on what with people coming and going in the far end of the barn and the younger sheep out in the pasture for so long. I could just hear him thinking, "I'm here and being fed, but no one is coming to brush my face or talk to me!" "What is going on?" "Why is my dinner so late today?"

Well, don't worry, Skit...we still love you, Big Guy. Just wait until you see your batch of new kids...they're totally awesome!


Tina T-P said...

Oh, they are always so cute when they are so little - Sven & Ole - LOVE it. Great names for those little guys!

Fun to talk to you today - :-) T.

Ross said...

My suggestions were also for Swedish names - Benny and Bjorn (from Abba).
Agnetha and Frida for girls.
But Ole, Sven are close enough.


Leigh said...

What wonderful pix and a great story. Wish I'd had your grandmother's advice when I was pregnant an eon ago.