Last year we had a couple bottle lambs Julia named Cora and Elise. Instead of keeping them at our house, we fed them at the barn so that they would know they were sheep and when they grew and no longer needed milk, they would easily assimilate into the flock. We had learned to do this from past year's experience. The year before last, we kept four lambs here and they decided they didn't want to be sheep. All summer, two in particular kept running into the house whenever the door was open. They kept trying to escape the electric fence and baaahed incessantly whenever they were "punished" by being put with the flock. We eventually had to find other homes for them. Since then, I have gotten a screen door but The Farmer and I decided that raising bottle lambs with the rest of the flock is best for all - sheep, us, and the house.
One of the bottle lambs from last year was named Cora and she was always a little different. She was very friendly and would run up to us whenever we arrived at the barn - feeding time or not. This isn't unusual for a bottle lamb since they count on their person for their food and "motherly" interactions. She would hang around, even after her bottle was finished. She especially liked Julia and any other small children who came to visit. As she grew, she became a sheep and grazed with the flock and did all that a sheep is supposed to do.
Sunday, during our extended stay at the barn, Cora started hanging around us again. She remembered Julia. It was so incredibly cute. I took these photos of the two of them - happy as any re-united friends.
Thanks for all the astute observations about the lamb in the house number! You guys are actually reading this thing! As some of you surmised, the little lamb from last week wasn't claimed by anyone. He came up here and had two rough days where he was very weak. The Farmer didn't think he would make it - but he did pull through. He figured out how to suck on a bottle and after a few more days of TLC, he was looking sprite. I woke up a few times in the night to hear the little pitter-patter or clumpety-clump (depending on how you hear it) of his hooves running around the living room.
This morning, on his way back to the farm to become a real sheep, I took the bottle lamb to school to share with the kids. I do what I can to spread the farming word. Julia is the only child in the entire school who has farm animals and lives on a bonafide farm. I feel it is my duty to teach the kids that their food doesn't come from plastic wrapped packages. It's a tough battle but some of them get it and are interested. Others could care less.
Lamb Count - 49 (it was a very busy day at the barn but at least it was warm!)
Lambs in the House - 0