Thursday, 31 March 2011

We Have Lambs!

At 9.00 on Tuesday morning, it was looking like a normal working day.

By 4pm a local farmer had called and told us that he had three orphan lambs in the back of his landrover and could we come and collect them that evening?

I woud not usually advocate last minute livestock purchases, but in this case it was too good an opportunity to miss. We frantically drove home and cleared out 1/3 of the garage, laid down some hay and fenced off the rest of it. Next doors' dog cage was cleaned down and off we went!

An action photo - they don't stay still for long.

They are each one of  a set of triplets whose mothers couldn't cope with feeding three. They need to be bottle fed  at least four times a day - starting with thick yellow colostrum (the milk ewes produce in the first 24 hours which contains antibodies and lots of other lovely stuff) and later with ewe milk replacement formula.

Cherry Coke - just for the taste of it.
Getting them to use a bottle was difficult at first but they soon got the hang of it with a little massaging of their throats and a squirt of milk in the corner of the mouth. Rather like a human baby the milk needs to be at body temperature.

I learned two new things about feeding lambs today - never feed them in anything other than a standing position (or you risk milk getting on their lungs and causing pneumonia) and never put colostrum in the microwave - this kills off the good stuff within it.

They are fed four times daily at 12 and 6 o'clock, so late nights and early mornings - not ideal when combined with a full time job, but thankfully I have a very obliging mother who is happy to do the lunchtime feed and a very understanding boss who lets me have a day off with 10 minutes notice to go lambing.

Vegetarianism has never looked so appealing!

1 comment:

  1. I love the new look, and the kids and lambs are