For those of you that don't already know, lambing season is my favorite time of the year. We had a good season. All mommies and babies are healthy and doing well. Every year though, something new and different happens...
The short version of the story is that we now have a grand total of 12 lambs: 7 ewe lambs (girls) and 5 ram lambs (boys). Five of the mommies had twins, while two had singles. Of those, I ended up with one bottle baby. Totally was not planning on that.
Maverick's mother rejected him at birth. The hubs woke me up that morning as he was getting ready for work and said, "there is a lamb out in the field all by itself. It looks like it's been abandoned." Not how you want to wake up. Just saying. I quickly got myself together and went out in the freezing cold to investigate. He was wet and chilled. I brought him in by the fire and rubbed him down with towels until he stopped shivering. I brought his mother and his twin brother inside the barn and tried to see if she would come to her senses and accept her baby after all. She wanted nothing to do with him. She refused to let him nurse and butted him away. (Can I just say RUDE???) I put her in a headlock and forced her to let him eat. He was hungry. He needed colostrum only for the first 24 hours. She stood still once I had her pinned, but there was no way she would feed him unless I gave her no choice. I kept holding out hope that she might begin to care for him if I encouraged her. Nope. She would not budge in her decision. After a few days of this my back was getting tired. I finally gave up and went to Tractor Supply to get him some milk replacer.
Why did his mother do this? I have absolutely no idea. Sometimes animals do these things. I could find nothing wrong with either her or him. She is taking good care of his brother, but completely refuses still to acknowledge little Maverick. So now he's mine. Not how I saw things going to be sure, but I have to admit the little feller has kinda grown on me. He comes running every time he sees me, and follows me around like a puppy anytime I let him. He has turned into my farm hand side kick. He loves his bottle. Actually he's a bit of a piglet when it comes to his milk. (Except when I don't get it warm enough to his liking. Then he cuts me the sideways stink eye.) If you look closely at the above picture, you can see he is actually sporting a tiny milk mustache. He is currently almost 3 weeks old and drinking 10-15 ounces three to four times a day.
Random sheep fact: Mature katahdin ewes weigh roughly 120-160 lbs. Their babies weigh about the same as human babies do at birth. First time moms usually only have one lamb (usually being the operative word) while ewes two years old and older often have twins and sometimes triplets. On rare occasion, they can even have quadruplets.
So here is something interesting: Amelia and Charlotte are just a year old. This is their first time being moms. They both have done beautifully and are proving to be excellent mothers. I was not expecting twins from a yearling ewe to be sure so this was a delightful surprise. However, Amelia's single ram lamb weighed roughly the same as Charlotte's two put together! (Poor Amelia!) They had their babies only one day apart. Gemma wins the littlest baby award this year with a birth weight of 5.2 lbs.
Charlotte and Amelia's baby half-sisters are Adelaide (above) and River (below).
They are just over three weeks old here.
I'm Debbie. I love listening to chickens cackle and sing. I love Lindt chocolate truffles, a good cup of coffee, and a good book.