Tuesday, February 02, 2010
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.