Monday, June 27, 2011

Last lambs of 2011, really this time

Little Red Oak Annie, my daughter's pet ewe of last years' lamb crop, had tiny twins out in the field-- and no one knew for a long, long time. Boy and girl, moorit and musket, Shetland. About 10" tall, I think.
We are worried-- Annie, first time mama, didn't bring them in to get a drink of water for herself-- and now, does she have milk for them? It was hard to tell in the low light and mosquito infestation of dusk.
We found them near nightfall -- babies' umbilical cords all shriveled dry, Annie's tail dry with lambing blood-- so we think it's been a half day at least. Poor dears. We brought them to a lambing jug, fussed over them, dribbled milk replacer in the babies' mouths, and gave Annie copious amounts of hay and water.

I am sure this happened because we sent our Finn bottle baby off to Gale Woods Farm today. We just needed one or two more to worry over.
I smile, though, remembering, we aren't given more than we can handle.

We'll keep you posted-- keep your fingers crossed and send up a wish for the twinners.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Healthy Bottle Lamb, Hooray!

Betty Ann stopped by on Friday. She was born in this old farmhouse, which we bought from her 8 years ago. I love it that she stops by for rhubarb or mint or curly willow, things that she planted when she lived here. She helps me with jobs sometimes, too; if I am overwhelmed she helps me clean the house, and she's been here when lambs need to be held up to their mothers' teats. She likes telling those stories at card club! She's a great rent-a-mom. This is my Emily, Betty Ann, the bottle lamb, Puulo, and Louie the dog.

Betty left, and Em posed with Puulo. Google Translator tells us that "Puulo" means "Bottle" in Finnish. We just heard he IS going to Gale Woods Farm (a teaching farm park) next week. Now that Puulo's strong, Tim, the farm manager, is excited to get a bottle lamb for kids' day camps, and a new set of genetics for his Finnsheep flock. Not too many people would want a bottlefed ram, so this is a great thing.

Puulo decides maybe what Louie needs is a good butt on the head (though he never did it).

More Spring/summer Farm and Lamb Photos

Sometimes I just marvel at where we live and what a great family I have. Double-click on the photo to see DH, Howard, shooting a video of Emily, feeding the bottle lamb. Her cat climbed on her shoulders.

This pump house has a water hydrant in it. I have to wonder if that was always its job...

A better, color shot of LRO Maple and Kimberwood Harrison's ewe lambs. Cute as bugs' ears.
Happy Fathers' Day, everyone.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Around the farm in Spring

Pictures won't load... test...
Aarggh, really won't let me put photos in, which is ALL I wanted to do...
any suggestions, everyone?

Elise's ewe lamb, Lisbeth (love that name, been reading the Stieg Larsson trilogy).

Maple the musket Shetland ewe had two little gulmoget ewes. Both are black, though one is Ag-gray. Both are for sale. So far they are not friendly lambs, but quite lovely. Out of Kimberwood Harrison and LittleRedOak Maple.

Well, one, now two, pictures loaded out of 5. And the B&W is not Blogger's fault.. it's mine.
Blogger's text alignment button doesn't work, though.

ooh, a little more Blogspot success, here is the newest lamb born here: half-Finn, out of this Shetland mom, Little Red Oak Cinnamon. Cinnamon doesn't like people, but has the most beautiful, caramel colored wool-- and now, her little ewe lamb, Pepper, does too! Black, though.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Little Finn Ram who Could

... get the ewe lambs pregnant when he was only 4-5 months old! So... first he produced the cute spotty ewe lambs from my Shetland ewe, Candy.  The next surprise came on May 21st, 11 pm, when, returning from Dear Daughter's big piano recital in Minneapolis, we found Heidi, a Finn ewe lamb I hadn't bred this year, fussing over a wet, tiny lamb on the floor of the barn, with all the other ewes and rowdy lambs hopping around.  Heidi was attentive to that lamb while continuing to cry with contractions;  after a long while I decided things weren't progressing correctly, and for the first time, I used the long, plastic glove my vet gave me to examine the ewe all the way inside.  I pulled out a dead lamb, tinier than Heidi's first.  Tiny ram lamb was too weak to nurse.  A preemie, I am quite sure-- no teeth erupted from his gums, yet... weighing a few pounds...
His ears started to perk up by his 5th day.

For the second time this year, we brought a tiny lamb into the house, fed it with 2oz pet nurser bottles  and kept in on a heating pad in a laundry basket. 
We always get out Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep and consult the chart that shows how much to feed bottle lambs at what stage.  We were lucky to have on hand a bag of milk replacer that a manufacturer sent me, free.  I'll advertise for them-- it was called Advance, and we liked it a lot.  It mixed easily with cold water.  We started to feed baby Ram lamb every 4 hours.  
He slept a lot.  His ears flopped down, like a puppy dog's. 

On May 22nd, my elder friend, Paul, the guy whose entire life I've taken care of for 18 months, suddenly died.  It was a busy week of funeral preparations and notifications, and throughout the week, I had a lamb who needed a bottle every 4 hours. 

We did restrain Little Guy's mother, daily, to let the baby nurse, but the mother has never allowed him to nurse without restraint.  In time, we let the lamb stay with Heidi all the time, while we brought him milk bottles.  We entertained the idea of selling him to Gale Woods Farm-- but worried when Tim, the manager, said that 50% of his lambs raised on bottles, without first receiving colostrum, die. 
All along, I have figured that we could do better than that, with all the attention we could give him... so we kept him. 

My wonderful nephew took care of the lamb on the day of Paul's funeral, and Little Lamb's only gotten stronger since then.
We've gone on to buy a new, big bag of milk replacer... and... it's time to go feed the lamb right now!