Friday, March 17, 2006
It must be March if there are lambs in the.....
If you have dreams of living on a farm, raising a few sheep and chickens, and living a completely romantic old-fashioned life, read on.
This morning I stumbled out of bed to take a shower. How could I forget there were 5 lambs in the bathroom? Do you know what 5 lambs can do to a 6’ x 6’ room in six hours? I think you get the picture – lamb poop and pee all over the place. Luckily I wasn’t yet awake and I stumbled into the shower. It was all I could do to keep them out of the shower. After tip-toeing out the door and trying to keep the lambs in the “bathroom” I decided I had had it. It was either me or the lambs who were leaving.
Why are there lambs in the bathroom? Well it is March at Cold Comfort Farm which means that lambing season is in full swing. During most of the year, we have about 120 ewes (mother sheep) which means that after every last one is finished – we will have in excess of 120 lambs. Lambing is precarious and busy to say the least. When I was pregnant with my daughter Julia, people told us about the joys of home birth. “The farmer” and I listened politely but we have been through too many “barn births” to succumb to the romance. With sheep, there are prolapses (the uterus comes out with the lamb), breech lambs, big heads that won’t emerge, and all kinds of things that can go wrong with lambing. “The Farmer” says “giving birth is the most dangerous thing a woman does – he knows – he has witnessed and assisted lots of sheep. Give us a trained medical staff pronto for my one and only birthing experience.
Sometimes a ewe dies while lambing. Sometimes she doesn’t want her babies. Sometimes she only has enough milk for one and she has three. And sometimes when it is 5 below 0 “the farmer” brings home a brand new soaking baby because there isn’t a prayer it will survive the cold.
That’s how you end up with 5 lambs in your bathroom. Here they are eating breakfast.