Friday, June 19, 2009

First Bottle Lamb!

When we decided to have sheep, we hoped that all lambings would go well, of course. I think every shepherd hopes for that. Sometimes, there can be trouble with the delivery. Sometimes, there's just too much of a good thing! That's what happened yesterday on Whispering Acres. Our final pregnant ewe, Buttercup, gave birth to quadruplets! Woah! That's a whole lot of lambs! Sadly, one of them died, so we were left with triplets. When I got home after work yesterday, one of the three was not doing too well. She was laying in the field, very lethargic, panting in the heat despite having shelter, and just not doing very well. I think she kind of called to me.

Of course I called to you, you silly lady. My Mummy wasn't doing her job! What do you expect?! And you call yourself a shepherdess. Pffft....just let me sleep, would you please?

I brought her inside to give her a bottle of prepared colostrum, since the powdered colostrum substitute I have says to feed that for the first 24 hours before moving on to lamb milk replacer. Sure enough, she hungrily took to the bottle. She had a little rest and seemed much better after that, much to my relief. So, I decided to keep her in for the night. She slept by my bedside in a little basket.

My own bed! Thank you for the blankie! It's soooo comfy!

I think her mom was having trouble caring for 3 lambs since she's a first time mom. For the sake of all of them, I decided it was best to keep her as a bottle lamb. She is the smallest of the 3, and the other two were much more aggressive with their Mom's udder, so she was getting left out.

Well no kidding. I'm barely as big as your foot! I had trouble with my brother and sister. They were awfully pushy. You, on the other hand, are a pushover!

Marshmallow has a bottle every 2 to 3 hours now, although soon she will be able to manage 4 to 5 hours. She went to work with me today because Kelly was busy and unable to keep up with the feedings today. Really, we shouldn't have animals at work, but it was important to give her a good start. My colleagues were delighted to host her for the day, and she was very quiet and well behaved, despite a steady stream of visitors.

Marshmallow! What kind of a name is that? You're not going to eat me are you? I can't imagine...

I had to pick up some diapers on the way to work to ensure there were no "accidents" on the carpet! She is now sporting "Pampers Snuggables Sensitive" for up to 10 lb babies. I make a small adaptation to them so that her tail can stick out.

Yeah, this is pretty embarassing you know. If the other lambs see me.....wait a second....what is this stuff I'm smelling, it smells me! Why is it these weird colours? What kind of sheep are these anyway? They are even more quiet than me!

This afternoon when I got home from work, I had a little snooze because last night I had to get up for bottle feedings, and the night before I had been awake for hours due to tremendous thunderstorms. She slept beside me curled up in a little ball. She has me hooked around her little hoof. Really, sometimes, I swear she's talking to me!

I am afraid to ask what this contraption is. But it kind of smells like me too, but different. This is very odd. I'm going to have to do some more investigation. I'm not sure if I trust you yet.

Hey lady! Where's my bottle?!Ummm...gotta go!


Lola Nova said...

o.k. the cuteness factor is through the roof! Good gravy, what a doll!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Marshmallow is darling. I still feel new to goats and bottle feeding. Because my does don't like to be separated, and we have one large stall, we keep the mama's and kids in that one stall. Although we are bottle feeding Gabbi, we go out to the barn and feed her the bottles and then she returns to her buddies/kids who sleep and play together. I've read a lot of people who do keep the babies in the house though.

kristi said...

and she is a white favorite! I hope all goes well with her and her new "Mommy":) What breed is she?

BlueGate said...

Oh she is just too cute!

Sharrie said...

Thanks, Claire for a wonderfully told story. I needed that after a difficult day. Take good care of your little lady.

IsobelleGoLightly said...

She is beautiful! I'm going to hop on a Greyhound bus and come to live in your house. Would you buy me a basket and a blanket? Goat kisses from Isobelle!

Pamela said...

How adorable! I love the diaper. And yes, what breed is she?

Oh and now is the very best time to start clicker training her. I have no basis for saying this, but it's been my experience that once the lambs are weaned, they just aren't as open to training as before they are weaned.

Oh my...she is just too cute.

Claire said...

Joanna - maybe I should have done what you do with Gabbi. I was worried the other sheep might push her around or step on her. When I found her, she was so weak and lethargic.

Isobelle - your basket and blankie will be waiting for you!

Kristi & Pamela - Her father is Icelandic and her mother is unknown but we think she has Corriedale in her, possibly Montadale. She is a very big girl. And Pamela....clicker training...really? To do what? I mean, she comes when called, so what else can I train her to do? Sorry if that's a dumb question, but I'm kind of thinking dog things, like "sit" and stuff.

Mom L said...

I think we all know who the real "marshmallow" is here, Claire!! But, truly, she is darling and I'd want to have her next to me as well. I know your co-workers enjoyed the visit.

Nancy (still in Atlanta)

Karen said...

Absolutely adorable! I can't believe you were able to take her to work - too funny!
Hope she continues to do well.

Flartus said...

Oh my! You have just gone too far now, Claire. The basket! The diaper! Waaaaahhh!!! (I'm not sure what noise that is, but I'm too overcome with Marshmallow's adorableness to make much sense right now.)

On the other hand...every 2 to 3 hours? Sheesh, you are devoted. I don't envy you your new schedule! That must be why God makes these darlings so impossibly cute.

Pamela said...

Claire, the best thing to do to get her used to clicker training is to start clicking right now. When she looks at the bottle or starts to take it, click then give her the bottle. Do it as many times as you can.

If you'd like to discuss some things you can teach her (even at this age), send me an email at:
pam at cmpasofinos dot com
(just replace the "at" and the "dot" with the symbols and take out the spaces.

I have an old video of Maa-Maat doing some tricks on my blog or you can find it on YouTube here:

Christy said...

Oh, that is too cute for words!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

hahahaha! That last photo! Too funny and sweet!
What a great name for her. I love it! Good grief! The first time Mom had triplets? Wow! Good thing you were a willing shepherdess with wonderful lamb care abilities.
She looks adorable in the basket. She is really is tiny, isn;t she? So precious!



Jennifer said...

What a beautiful and darling lamb Marshmallow is!

Apifera Farm said...

Please look into to giving her BOSE shots....just being a mother hen. I hope she makes it though...