Wednesday, February 25, 2015

20 Above

20 above instead of 20 below.  Forty degrees makes a world of difference.  If it would only stay like this...but it won't because it is upstate New York and I'm lambing.  Everything was fine at 1 am but not 6 am.  I don't know what made me think I might be able to go to work today.  Thank goodness I have sick (sheep) days and two very capable classroom aides to help me through this challenging time.  I didn't lamb for the last two years which lulled me into a dream-like world of happy dancing lambs who are born easily and who all survive.  Reality bites.  Nobody standing over chilled lambs in the way back this morning but one of the little ewe lambs born of the aged mother was lying flat in her pen.  I scooped her up, warm mouth, but obviously starved.  She was probably nursing from the non-working side of the udder while her sister had the one with the milk.  I've got her in a box inside my workshop covered in sweaters,  Luckily she's able to swallow.  Gave her Nutri-drench with the propylene glycol, molasses, electrolytes, etc.  Sandy, ram lamb, was yelling for breakfast.  Margot, his drop dead gorgeous young mother with the heavy lustrous fleece (or else I might strangle her) was still not letting him nurse.  I tied her to the post, leaned on her with my thighs and put Sandy under her.  I heard slurping and licking and finally a sucking sound.  Maybe one day old makes enough of a difference and he can finally nurse by himself - if she would only let him.  I held her there for a few minutes so he could get his fill.  When I let go Margot was pee-ohed me and tried to butt me.  Kind of funny actually.  I turned her massive body around and milked out the other udder for my weak ewe lamb.  Sandy stopped yelling so I guess he's full for now.  Many shepherds cull sheep who are not good mothers, but I don't want to lose this girl.  Her fleece is magnificent, like her father, Zack, a Border Leicester ram I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool a few years back.  What a pussycat he was, gigantic with a thick fleece.  I have hopes that Margot will calm down and let her boy nurse.  She gets cracked corn and all the hay she can eat.  Life is good in that hotel, all I ask is that she feed her baby.  Now for a bit of breakfast for the shepherd and a bath.  I've had the same barn clothes on for two days.  If anyone came to the door I would faint.  Or maybe they would.  The intercom is quiet except for chickens and ducks.  Even the pigs are quiet right now.  I'm exhausted but that's how it goes. When I came back in at 2 am I shut off the intercom and got a few hours sleep.  Doesn't feel like it.  Will milk out Margot and feed the weak girl in a couple of hours.

No comments: