Tuesday, February 02, 2010

No. 84


Meet Number 84. It's a miracle he is alive. About ten days ago, he was born in the barn, a twin to a mama. He was quite small but for the first couple days he did fine. It was very cold that first week of his life. Afer a couple days, he wasn't thriving and growing and became weaker. The Farmer kept him and his twin penned in with the Mama for longer than the usual one of two days. It became clear that the Mama didn't have enough milk for both lambs. The bigger stronger lamb was thriving. One evening No. 84 looked awful and we knew if we didn't get him warm, he would be gone by morning. To tell you the truth, we didn't have much hope for him.

For a few days, he lay in our bathroom next to the heating grate on a couple of towels. He had very stinky scours (baby lamb diarrhea) and every morning, we expected him to be gone. The Farmer didn't give him milk nor stomach tube him. Although readers may think this sounds cruel, after years of experience caring for sick lambs, My Farmer has the intuition to do the right thing. Some lambs just don't have the strength to even eat. Trying to feed them can just be too much for them.

No. 84 hung on and after about four days, The Farmer began feeding him just a little bit of lamb milk replacer with a lamb nipple on a seltzer bottle. In a couple days, he started to hold his head up. The Farmer began increasing the milk.

Last night in the middle of the night I heard a noise downstairs. I got up thinking one of the cats wanted to come in. Down at the bottom of the stairs was No. 84 wanting some milk after having escaped his bathroom bedroom.

This morning over breakfast, No. 84 was there with us. At night he follows us into the library/tv room where we have a woodstove. He plants himself behind the woodstove. Smart lamb. He's probably out of the woods now but we're going to wait a few more days, until the cold subsides to take him back to the barn. I keep the mop handy and have stocked up on paper towels. All in a day's work around here.

We don't always have success like No. 84 but when we do, it makes you feel good. I'm actually kind of relieved we don't have as many lambs in the house as last year. You can read about it here and here.

23 comments:

Deborah said...

Good for 84! He's very dear and I like picturing him ready for some food. Sounds like our collie waking DH up between 4 and 5 am for breakfast.

MaryAnne said...

Would love to read about last year, but the link doesn't seem to work?

anmiryam said...

I can't imagine doing what you do. Sentimental fool that I am, I'd want to keep him indoors, but I think I'd change my mind pretty quick once the amount of clean-up required sunk in!

Arline said...

High-Five, 84!

Kristin Nicholas said...

Fixed the link and added another, I hope.

Michele in Maine said...

Yay, 84! How cute to imagine a tiny lamb tucked behind the woodstove. And thanks for the link to last year's pictures - I remember those. I love the pile 'o lambs on the rug!

Sheep scours doesn't sound as much fun and cleaning up cat yak...

Virginia said...

Go 84! What a cutie.

I love that photo. It's very sweet. And rustic looking. I would like to be sitting at your table with a lamb at my feet.

While knitting, of course. Oh, and with a cup of coffee. Or tea.

Sara in WI said...

Little miracles like this....well, what more can you say....? Go 84!

Mereknits said...

Hooray for 84! I hope he has a wonderully long life.

Lyn said...

No.84 is a fighter, so glad he made it. The photo of him is lovely.
Love
Lyn
xxx

philogirl said...

I often have bummer lambs in my classroom or house. I have gotten tired of constantly cleaning up after them. I broke down and bought disposable diapers. I cut a small hole for the tail. It is funny to see them walking around, but saves most of the wiping up the floor. I bet your lambs love your wooden floor. The lambs I have raised like to hear their hooves on the wood.

woolywoman said...

Yes, this is something parents have trouble with when their kids a really sick in the ICU. They are too sick to eat- the blood pressure is too low and the body moves the blood preferentially to the lungs, heart, and brain. If they are fed, the stomach and intestines can't handle it and it can cause death by overwhelming infection from the intestines. Or, the fluid can accumulate in the lungs and cause death from pneumonia, either because of poor suck/swallow or because of something called third spacing.Some times a little fluid, like pedialyte, is the thing, but you have to be reasonably healthy to eat. I'm glad he made it!

I just got your new book and I have to say, I am inspired! I love the pattern resources in the back of the book- so nice to have the charts arranged by repeats, and I'm swatching edgings right now.

I'm gonna tell Mom! said...

I would want to keep No. 84 inside too, but then reality would sink in. No.84 sounds like a smart little lamb!
kim

Kym said...

So glad to hear 84 is doing so well. He looks so very sweet. . .

Ellen Gormley said...

I know that you only get attached to a few special lambs, but do any of them get attached to YOU, the Farmer and Julia?

Anonymous said...

Aaww - you're such good parents :)
deni

turtlewoman said...

Hi Kristin,

I'm thrilled for #84. I always have to read about animals while holding my breath waiting for the outcome. Thank goodness, this time it is good.

Lindy in AZ

Kekumukula said...

Amazing how that one survived. You and the Farmer did a wonderful job. I can understand how you feel good about keeping the lamb alive.

kelley Hart said...

That just made me smile so much! And reminded me of the time our one year old (human boy) surprised us at the bottom of the stairs after escaping from his crib and climbing down the stairs for the first time! You go #84!

Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

Heart warming story. Thumbs up for the Farmer, you and No.84!

Sarah { bee house hives } said...

ooh goodness. how sweet.

I remember my mom bringing in bottle babies. I miss those days on our farm. I love your post.

gayle said...

I grew up raising sheep. This time of year, I always miss that box of lambs by the woodstove. Some were in for just a quick warm-up (since many of our ewes preferred to give birth outside on the coldest nastiest nights of the year, instead of in the nice warm barn) and others ended up as bottle-feeders.
Give 84 a scritch behind the ears for me...

Anonymous said...

No. 84 is survivor. But will he one of the lambs for slaughter when he's old enough?

I personally don't eat lamb. Nothing wrong if people do. Wish I had a farm, then I would buy him and let him live out his life.