Sunday, April 11, 2010

What a Whirlwind

These last few days have been busy, busy! We have a few babies who need some extra attention. April is the little lamb born on Easter. Her mother was kind enough to clean her little face so that she could breathe when born but that was the end of mother's interest. It is hard to blame Naomi as she is our oldest Shetland. We didn't even realize that she was pregnant as she had no swelling udder to indicate she was carrying a lamb. She had almost died a few weeks ago when she went down in a sleet storm and then spent a few weeks being treated for pneumonia. Her tiny lamb was hypothermic and just pitiful when we found her. After much fussing and nursing she is much improved. In fact, even as I write she is flying up and down the hallway with Carl, our other bottle baby in the house.

Carl's mother is the only ewe we've lost this season. She had a routine delivery and was doing well. Early Thursday when we checked she and her lamb were fine. Two hours later she tried to stand and staggered. I quickly checked her and realized she had what is called milk fever which is a dramatic and sudden drain of calcium due to pregnancy, stress and nursing. I ran for the appropriate medications in the house and quickly injected her. Unfortunately, she was too far gone and she died within the hour. That left us with a little red ram lamb to feed. He has taken to the bottle nicely and boldly romps around the kitchen.

I am also supplementing two outside babies with bottles as their mothers love them but are not nursing them well. Phil is a little guy that has a mother who is producing little milk and does not want to stand for him to nurse. We've held her repeatedly so that he received colostrum in his first few meals but are also giving him a bottle six or so times a day. Phil is thriving - I posted a video of him romping with Ravi, our Anatolian Shepherd, on the farm Facebook page. He is the very first lamb we've ever had that did not need to be taught to use a bottle. I leaned over to pick him up and show him the bottle. Before I could lift him he ran up, grabbed the rubbery red nipple and went right to work. He is a cutie but also a nuisance. I have to drag my feet when I walk by him so that I don't step on him as he wraps himself around my legs, butting against me for more milk.

I am also still supplementing Bert, the white kid. Again, his mother loves and cares for him but just was not producing much milk. He gets an extra bottle three or four times a day. He is easy to care for as he comes when I call, drinks his bottle and bounds off to rejoin his mother or the other babies he was playing with before I came out.

So, all that to say I haven't been good about blogging and I haven't been good about downloading pictures to today's blog - but once I clean the days eggs and get a few cat toys felted I may be caught up again.

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