Tuesday, January 27, 2009

It Must Be January

At our farmhouse, I can tell what month it is even without looking at the calendar. Besides all the activity that lambing in January brings, it almost always includes taking a shower in a bathroom full of lambs. This January is no exception. Last week we had several bone chilling days of below zero temperatures. Every day, there would be a lamb that was near death, not to mention those that didn’t make it through the cold.

Most of the newborn lambs pull through but there is always the lamb whose mother won't accept it for many reasons. First time and young mothers often don't know what to do with their lambs. Some mothers have twins and only want to care for one. Other mothers would like to care for both twins but they don't produce enough milk. Sometimes, lambs are born outside of the barn and it is just too cold for them to survive.


When The Farmer walks in the door, Julia and I never know what he'll have in his arms. These four little lambs were all "goners" as he calls it. But with a little TLC, lamb formula, heat from our woodstove and fireplace, sometimes some dextrose injections to bring them back, all of these guys survived. He is no miracle worker - just a good and patient farmer. Not all of the lambs he brought inside survived but I won't bore you with those stories. It's just the way it is.

Bottle lambs get fed "lamb milk replacer" which smells just like infant formula. They get fed 4 to 5 times a day. We purchase lamb and goat nipples by the dozen which fit perfectly on a plastic soda bottle. The dogs think this lamb in the house thing is the greatest.

During "lambs in the house" season, my sponge mop and diluted bleach solution are my friends. Thank goodness I decided on tile for my bathroom when I re-did it several years ago. And thank goodness I’m not a neat freak nor one of those people who use antibacterial soap every other minute. If that is you, I strongly advise not visiting us over the next month.

Next week, when it warms up, these four little guys will be moving outside to a temporary shelter. It sure will be a shock for them but they have warm little wooly coats on and will do just fine.

25 comments:

Heather L. said...

What sweet pictures! Julia must be in heaven having lambs in the house! My kids would LOVE it! I think it would be fun to visit. :) Oh well, no chance since we live in the Midwest.

betty in nc said...

I want a lamb in the house!!!!! (or 4) They are just darling! Just think of the stories they will have to tell once they go back outside..."you guys are never gonna believe what we saw" :)

Karin said...

Thank you for illuminating me with all of your posts.
That is so precious at first sight, but I can imagine it must be so much work!

anniejs said...

Seeing your lambs in my house brings back memories of my own childhood little flock. There was one who needed bottle feeding. He was a great companion after he grew up.

Makes me long for a bigger piece of property, sheep for me, a miniature pony for the older daughter and dogs for the baby.

Turtle said...

i'm with annie....looking for property, sheep, chickens, goat.... enjoy it while they are inside a bit longer!

shortoldlady said...

Thanks for sharing the very cute part of your job. Those pictures say love. And lots of thanks to both of you for doing all the behind the scenes yucky parts that we don't see!

Kate G. said...

Wow, lambs in the house. You guys are saints. I'm waiting for the shot where they are all back outside in little knit hats.

It's nice to to be clued in on real life on the farm. Sheep are serious work!

Ellen Gormley said...

Your posts amuse me so! Little lambs in the house! wow, what fun! I can't imagine! Do they bleat or baa alot?

Ann said...

I love all of your posts and I do believe in the first photo, the lamb on the right is smiling. Take Care

Willow said...

I love how that one little lamb is all snuggled up next to The Farmer's leg. It must be hungry!

mascanlon said...

Again, you have brightened my day Kristin and I do appreciate it isn't all sweet lambie faces but lots of work, hard work for your whole family.

Penny said...

:) i know it's a ton of hard work but each and every day i appreciate what you and your family do.

so when can i stop by to escape my city-boy-clean husband? i'll do work! i can't do as much i used to for many reasons, but i'd help out... ;)

Bonnie said...

You should write and illustrate a children's book called Lambs in the Kitchen.

Deborah said...

I can only imagine the lamb-talk going on when you have your little houseguests. The sleeping lambs are just too sweet for words. Thanks for the photo!

floatingink said...

There's a great article in today's New York Times about how kids who are exposed to earth and animals from an early age likely have stronger immune systems. Though I think they meant dogs and cats, they actually recommend keeping animals in the house--why not lambs?

BTW, I think The Farmer needs a rocking chair.

HOA Mgr Lady said...

Soakers! Wool Soakers are what they need over diapers in the house! Come on Kristen get to knitting soakers - hahahahaha Love the views of your house its like a gentle and unobtrusive peek into your life.

Kelley Hart said...

What a good papa. I'm smiling all over after reading your blog and watching the lamb birthing video. Beautiful stuff.

Christina said...

What sweet pictures. The little lambs look so snuggely and content.
Thank you for the beautiful pictures!

knitfrogrepeat said...

That is just too adorable! Look at those little guys! Very sweet!

Rane said...

Great now my daughter is trying
to talk me into getting a lamb!
But Miss Kristin has some in her
house!! Hehehe!
I love your sweet photos!
Your family is so gentle and kind.
I grew up on a farm and we too
brought little animals in the house
in the creul winter. Not that my
grandmother did not complain.
Thank you,
Rane and kids.
~~~~~~~~~~~~*~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Araya said...

Hi Kristin ~
How CUTE!!!!
I would love to have them in my bathroom, or maybe a foal! They are so ADORABLE, I love them!
I'm a huge animal lover!
Come visit me at http://www.stabledays.typepad.com
@raya

Murph said...

The pic of your good and patient Farmer left me in awe. SO much work involved outside and now inside. Wow. That's amazing. I would come and visit first thing!

Stephanie said...

OMG! I want a little lamb in my house. It's so sad that baby animals have to grow up. They are just so cute.

Tan said...

I am new to your blog, but not to your designs or to lambing. It was my job as a kid in Idaho 40 or 50 years ago to bottle feed the "bum" lambs, as we called them. We used empty glass soda pop bottles with a big rubber nipple, and skim milk from the cow. By the time I was a teenager, selling my lambs paid for my school clothes (or at least the fabric to sew them).

Thanks for sharing the great pix.

Tina said...

I love ya'll!! Good Mommy and Daddy!!

Tina~ Cherry Hill Cottage...