Winter hasn’t put in much of an appearance this year, which has been fine with me. Yesterday was cloudy and cool. I woke this morning to this:
The lambs are doing good, but I have a bottle lamb. This is the first time that Amber has had twins, and she was too confused when they both tried nursing at the same time. Malcolm had an advantage being several hours older and poor Merlin was losing out. Monday afternoon I tube fed him to make sure he had some calories, and he seemed to perk up a bit. Monday night when I was checking the ewes he was cold. I brought him in the house, which I only do in extreme situations. He spent the night warming up, and I spent it cat napping between checking on him. It was 5 am before he was interested in any food.
I had an appointment to have lunch with my mom, so I tried feeding him again before I went to that but he wasn’t terribly interested. I left him in, and went off to lunch. We got all the way through it ( new restaurant for both of us, and it was great!), and were on our way home when I got a frantic call from DIL saying that he was hollering for lunch.
After he ate it was time for a trip back out to the barn. I know a lot of folks enjoy having house lambs, but I want them to learn to be sheep. I put him back in the jug with his mom and brother and he settled right down to nap (a full tummy will do that). I kept checking every few hours, and while she wouldn’t let him nurse Amber was otherwise ok. The next morning I banded Malcolm and Mark’s tails and let them and their moms out of the barn. Merlin is a doll. He’s learning to suck on the bottle without assistance, and when he is full he curls up for a nap. He prefers doing so in my lap, and it’s hard to be strict about not letting him. I have set up a creep where the lambs can get away from the ewes in a dry warm corner of the barn. I will start putting a little grain in there in a few days. I’ve seen Merlin following Amber around, and he has shown interest in the other ewes udders, so he may work his way up to stealing milk from them too.
And this evening, Marge presented me with a gorgeous brown ewe lamb. So we’re up to 5 ewes done, 6 lambs, 4 boys and 2 girls. At least 3 ewes to go.
It’s fun watching the ewes and lambs adjust to being out of the barn. Some of the lambs catch on real quick to sticking with mom, and others seem to get lost more often and spend time yelling for mom to come find them. I kept Kay in an extra day because she seemed a bit confused by this little thing that kept diving into her crotch, but she is now standing still for him to nurse, even in the snow.