Wednesday, January 07, 2009

The Lamb

I heard a bit of bleating when I went outside yesterday afternoon, but it took Steven the former orphan to figure out that there was a newborn lamb by the fence and it had been there for hours, and the mom was nowhere around, and we had to do something.

We tied up Hansie, thinking maybe he was scaring the ewe away. But she still didn't show up.

Paul called the owners of the flock around 8:30. "My husband's already in bed," said the wife. "We'll just hope it's still alive in the morning."

Well. Were a formerly motherless child and his tenderhearted little sister and a mom of a formerly motherless child going to leave an orphaned lamb out in the cold? We were not.

So Steven brought it in, still crusty and with a fresh-looking umbilical cord remnant, and put it in a laundry basket with an old rug. By this time it was too weak to stand.

I found a Coke bottle and the nipples from last year, and mixed up my best guess at lamb milk replacer, and we got it to drink.

Soon it perked up enough to climb out of the basket and trot around the kitchen. So we found a plastic bin with higher sides and put it in the bathroom with a heater. Steven fed it at 2 a.m.

And this morning it was lively and noisy, but it had a bit of diarrhea, which means we're feeding it too much.

Paul called Mrs. Owner again. "Thanks, I'll tell my husband," she said.

No husband has showed up yet.

I hope the lamb survives. I hope we can keep it.

This from the lady who says, every spring,

Quote of the Day:
"If you want bummer lambs they are YOUR responsibility and I have paid my dues with getting up at night with babies and I am NOT going to feed them for you and I DON'T want that milk replacer mess in my kitchen!"


  1. Oh yes, yes, yes!!! So like a mother!

  2. Brings back memories of when I was a young teen and took a lot of the responsibility of working with our flock of sheep. Bless my mom's heart for allowing me to bring those orphaned or rejected lambs into the house - even into my bedroom so I could feed them several times during the night. Not all of them survived, but we have some awesome memories of Lamby - one who made it. Eventually Lamby was moved to the barn, but several times a day would find her way to the house and use her hoof to knock on the door to let us know she wanted a bottle!

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  4. mothers are amazing like that! :)

  5. Well, we have raised ducklings in our bathtub until they had feathers enough to keep them warm, and chicks on the counter in a brooder...and we will again, no doubt, since we have a son, and these are, after all, very important lessons to learn.

    I hope you can keep him too. He would not be alive if not for you...