Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Dose of Cute: Seeing Spots

Seeing Spots 1

More photos and story below. . .




These two little guys were the last lambs born this spring, which was one of our busiest and shortest lambing seasons ever. They arrived late one morning when our wet weather creek was flooded, just a few minutes before I waded across and found a proud mama cleaning them up.

She did a great job delivering them all on her own, but neither twin wanted to nurse. It's vital that newborn lambs get some colostrum into their system as soon as possible (preferably within an hour after being born), and I was thankfully able to milk out quite a bit from the mother so I could feed both boys with a syringe (they refused to suck on a bottle, too).

A few hours of pouring rain later, the creek had risen back up so much that I was unable to cross back over to the barn. A friend came to the rescue, delivering a 50-pound of dog food and making sure both the boys had plenty of milk. We shouted to each other across the rushing water.

By the next morning I was able to once again wade across the creek, and was happy to see that the new family, as well as the spotted boy born the day before, were all doing fine. I'm grateful that we were at the tail end of lambing season when all of the flooding happened, and I went from making seven or eight round the clock visits to the barn each day to not being able to get over there at all.

These boys are amazingly soft, and they don't struggle too much when you scoop them up for a snuggle. I'm not sure why we have several black-eyed lambs this year, but they sure do make me smile.

Update (10 seconds after I published this post): Um, okay, slight mistake here, and rather than deleting anything, I'm just going to come out and admit it. That top photo was taken a few days before the others, and after looking at it more closely just now, I realized that the lamb on the left isn't actually one of the twin boys—she's a slightly older girl masquerading as one of them. I told you we had a lot of those black-eyed lambs!

Just joining us for lambing season? You can catch up with all the cuteness here.

The Daily Donkey 98: Mama's Boy

© FarmgirlFare.com, where it was another thrilling Sheep Working Weekend! Several false starts and a faulty drench gun made things a lot slower going than we'd hoped, but overall everything—including the part where I caught up all 32 lambs (who are getting big) myself, balanced each one over my leg, and gave them a dose of garlic juice and raw apple cider vinegar (a natural wormer and overall health tonic) while Joe was hiking back and forth to The Shack to grab forgotten supplies—went pretty well.

The humorous highlight was definitely when I shouted, grunted, and yelped, and Joe looked into the barn to find me and Hugo, the biggest of all the lambs, sprawled out on the floor together, with me still refusing to let go of him. Joe cracked up while I gave him an Everything's fine here wave.

We really should work the 17 sheep in the splinter flock tomorrow, but we're going to give ourselves a day off from this particular job instead.

14 comments:

  1. We had sheep when I was growing up in the Reno, Nevada area. My sister and I had the job of taking the moms and babies up in the foothills to graze each afternoon after school. I just hated it! Of course now I look back on those days with so much fondness and nostalgia. Your pictures of the little black-eyed lambs remind me of "my" lamb that had one black eye - we named her Black-Eyed Susie and called her Susie for short....she was a real cutie! Anyway thanks for the great pictures of your lambs (and donkeys, cats, dogs, chickens etc.!) Makes me want to get some farm critters which I'm sure would make my dad turn over in his grave and laugh like crazy!!

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  2. Thanks for the sunny break in these overcast Southern Ontario (Canada) days. I just tried the blueberry breakfast bars in your recipe file.
    I loved them, my husband LOVED THEM. I did sub half coconut oil for half of the butter. Do you ever use it, it is according to Jon Bowden, very healthy full of MCT's AND it can give things a lovely coconut flavour.
    Keep up the wet work, and please keep sharing.

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  3. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/elisabeth-svendsen-donkeys-savior-dies/2011/05/15/AFq68Q4G_story.html

    This is a obituary in the Washington Post for Elizabeth Svendsen, 81, who ran a worldwide charity to rescue abused and overworked donkeys. Very inspirational -- Jude

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  4. I love the black-eyed lambs as well. How much more adorable can an already adorable lamb be!

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  5. wonderful how it all worked out - you are having exceptionally good looking lambs since you acquired the Katahdin ram - I'm lovin those spots too! Funny about getting confused by the female posing as one of the twins - when we had a lot of goats - I really had to take pictures and label the pictures so I'd know who was who

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  6. Cute is an understatement! The third pic is so sweet and perfect.

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  7. I'm waiting for one of those babies to come out with a heart shaped spot! They just don't get any cuter then these spotted cutie pies....

    on that third photo it almost looks like a heart shape on the front leg..almost.

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  8. These pictures just make my day. So fun to hear about your weekend working with them and getting snuggles from them.

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  9. I am curious about the garlic juice/cider vinegar drench. How do you make the garlic juice? How much of each {garlic/vinegar} do you drench with? Is this a one time treatment or do you repeat with lambs and with weak sheep too?
    Thanks Susan--- I am enjoying your daily mail.

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  10. I've just come to terms with the fact that I have a startling shortage of lamb cuddling in my life. If I were near those little black eyed lambs, I would give them the cuddling of their lives.

    Remind them they're lucky to be halfway across the country from That Psycho Lamb Cuddler in CA.

    Cheers on the great lambing season!

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  11. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the great comments. :)


    Dominique,
    We use a 50/50 mix of organic raw apple cider vinegar (which we buy by the gallon from amazon.com) and garlic juice, which we buy in a 4-gallon case from this company.

    We use this mixture as a drench and give it to all of the sheep as a natural wormer and overall health tonic. The dosage we give is 10ml to 40ml, depending on the situation. The lambs were given 10ml each this time.

    I'm really happy with the garlic/vinegar, and the best thing about it is that, unlike commercial wormers, the sheep can't build up a resistance to it. You also can't really overdose them. When we work the sheep, EVERYBODY gets garlic/vinegar, unlike when we give them commercial wormer, and you need to decide who needs it and who looks good enough not to get any (thereby building up less of a resistance to it).

    If the sheep are very wormy, you can do a 5-day worming, once a day of 10ml to 20ml of the drench to each sheep.

    I've done this, and the problem I've encountered is that, for us at least, if a sheep is already severely infested with worms, the garlic/vinegar doesn't seem to be enough. It works great as more of an preventative for sheep who aren't already heavily infested.

    After each of our ewes lambed this year, I gave them a daily dose of 20ml for the 3 to 4 days they were in the bonding suite.

    We also use it anytime a sheep is under the weather or sick in any way to help boost their immunity, etc. Both garlic and raw apple cider vinegar (which we take ourselves on a daily basis - 1 to 2 Tb. a day mixed in water with a little honey) have myriad health benefits.

    Ideally, I would like to dose all of my sheep once a week year round, but so far that hasn't happened. : )

    I highly recommend using the garlic/vinegar drench, but please remember I'm not a vet and this isn't medical advice. :)

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  12. Thank you for the great explanation. I have a sheep in the "ICU" that could use a dose of this right now. I am ordering both today.

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  13. If it's even possible, these must be the cutest lambs - ever! Of course, when you post some new pictures, I'll think that about those so you obviously have the cutest flock(?) of lambs! And let's not even start on the donkeys...(or dogs, cats, etc...)

    Thanks, Susan, for sharing so much with us!

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  14. Adorable pictures, thank you for sharing!!! Perfect way to start my day.

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