Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It seems all I am doing right now is keeping up with bottle babies. I have two in the kitchen. Carl is a true orphan whose mother died, perhaps of milk fever, the day after he was born. The other one was born to our oldest ewe who birthed her, licked her head almost clean so that she could breathe and then walked away. So for all practical purposes April is orphaned. She is tiny and fragile. Her mother is Naomi, the ewe I found almost dead in an ice storm and who managed to recover with lots of attention. We had no clue she was pregnant and apparently she prefers to pretend she wasn't either.

Our first bottle baby of the year, Bert, is a goat kid who is growing beautifully. He just needs a few nips of a bottle a day now as his mother does produce some milk and he has already moved on to eating hay and grain. Then we have Phil and Lil. They both have attentive mothers who really did not want to nurse them. Phil is the fellow who had to be pulled. He was a large lamb, especially considering that his mother is a petite Shetland ewe. Once she got him out and cleaned up, she would have nothing more to do with him being near to her. We held her several times a day for the first week so that he could nurse but mama was not happy. We transitioned him to a bottle. She still keeps an eye on him and stands at my side as I give him a bottle every three or four hours but will not allow him to nurse. Lil's birth was not traumatic but again she has a mother who kicked and carried on whenever Lil tried to nurse so we held mother long enough for Lil to get a good dose of her mother's colostrum and then moved her on to a bottle. Phil and Lil act like brother and sister which makes sense as I believe they think I am now their mother.

So I have been negligent about much of my routine. I am either making formula, bottling or cleaning up much of the day.

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