You know, usually I'm straddling the fence when it comes to fate and whether I believe it. Same thing with karma, although I have hoped it's real, because I'd like karma to have taken a big chunk out of some well deserving back ends over the years. Right now I've taken a leap off the fence and onto the fate must be real side.
Yesterday started out as any other day around here with chores, breakfast, and starting school. While Young'un was working on his spelling I decided to check the email. There was one in among all the junk I've been recently inundated with that had the subject line "Bottle Lamb" from another Icelandic breeder.
Come to find out, the family had a lamb that was born on Sunday that needed bottle fed and they wanted to know if we were interested in buying her because they weren't able to do the bottle feeding, which I totally understand. Now I know you probably think I said a big, "Yeeeeehaw!" tossed the kids in the car, and sailed on over for her, but I didn't. I decided to be practical about it (yes, that does happen on occasion) and called Hon to get his thoughts on the matter. You see, the family with the lamb was a good three hours from here, so they weren't just around the corner. The other thing was that Hon happened to have to go up there yesterday afternoon. He's never been up there before, and who knows if and when he ever will again, but as fate would have it, he was to be in the same area. I know...weird, huh!
Hon and I talked about bottle feeding duties, as it's not something we've had to do here before. I also talked with the kids and we decided with all of us pitching in we'd do a fine job of it. So, that was that. We decided to bring that little ewe lamb home. Funny thing about Hon being up in that area was what he went up for to begin with didn't end up happening. If he had known before the trip that he didn't need to go up there, he wouldn't have. See. Fate. Totally.
Last night Hon got home and he and Eldest went out to put together some one lamb accommodations for the little gal in the stall Dandy is in with her twins at the moment. That way she would have some nearby company, but not tick Dandy off by trying to get under her for milk. We were told she wasn't taking a bottle well, so when it came to bottle feeding time, we didn't know what was going to happen, but she took to it lickety split. Man oh man can that girl suck down the bottle! I swear I'm going to time her on it tomorrow. From then on, we were hooked...smitten...head over heals!
This morning Hon and I went out to give her a bottle. We actually discussed who would be the one to give it to her; 6:00 a.m. and we're fussing over who got to do it. We shared the responsibility, by the way. This afternoon Young'un went with me and he fed the little lamb. This evening Kid was out there with me to feed her. Hon said he's going to go check on her this evening before he goes to bed. Basically, she's getting a lot of care. I think we're spoiling her. Oh shoot, who am I kidding. We are spoiling her and I have to keep telling myself and the kids she's not a puppy. I took her with me in the back pasture for a bit this evening so Minnie and Trixie could check her out because I'm worried that she doesn't have a mama sheep figure for guidance. I'm hoping that maybe Minnie and the lamb will become friendly since I don't think Minnie is pregnant and I think she'd be a good role model....not to mention Minnie is a tiny ewe. What can I say, I'm a mom and I can't help but worry about the lamb and her welfare for when she's out in the field. Besides, it's fate.
So, there you have it. Our new lamb that fate brought home. Young'un, by the way, named her Crystal when we were tucking him in this evening. I think she's a great addition to our farm and Kid has visions of taking Crystal to the fair as part of his breeding project this year since he's helping raise her. Yup, it's fate. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about Crystal as she grows up. Smiling & Waving, Sharon
Yesterday started out like any typical Sunday. Well, it started out with me hoping I didn't have another Murphy's law week, actually, but that's neither here nor there. It was a glorious day!
I went out to take care of morning chores. I also had a plan brewing. You see, I knew our ewes were to begin delivering their lambs any time, and we hadn't sheared yet, so it seemed like a good day to get some of it done. Besides, Hon was home, and I needed his help with the big girls. I can wrestle smaller ewes just fine. It's those older girls that give me a run for my money sometimes.
I thought everything started out same 'ole same 'ole to the fur and feathers. Then I went to the red barn and saw Dandy sitting in there on her own, which she doesn't do. I said a big, "Uh-oh!" Definitely needed to get her sheared first, I figured. I didn't do anything out of the ordinary to raise sheep suspicions...until I closed the stall gate while the four older ewes were in there eating. Then they knew there was definitely something up and they didn't want to be involved. I told them my plan was to finish up chores, go in and eat breakfast, and then bring Hon out to help me get them trimmed up with Dandy being first on account of her looking from the back end like she was going to blow any time.
I went inside, ate my scrumptious bowl of Lucky Charms (because I was in a hurry to get back out and, of course, they're magically delicious) and filled Hon in on my plans. I had everything together for shearing, so we were ready to go.
Well, let me tell you, Dandy must have understood every word I said, because when she turned around to give me the butt end of her thoughts on the matter, there was no question she was in labor. I had Hon get a hold of her so I could give her a quick maternity cut and then we walked her over to the barn (that's the old barn, as opposed to the red barn) where a stall awaited her. Now, for those of you don't know what the maternity cut is, that's where I take the hand shears (the non-electric old fashioned kind, because that's what I use) and trim up around her back end and udder. I think some folks call it a "V" cut or something like that. She was not happy in the least, but at least I knew the lambs could get to the goods, and that's what was important.
After we got Dandy situated in the luxurious labor suite, we got a hold of Dahlia and started playing beauty parlor. Now remember, I use the hand shears, so I don't do the best of jobs, but I get it done. They might not be cut right down close to the skin, but I get close, and think I do a pretty good job considering. If you want to see someone do some sheep shearing while sitting them on their behinds and flipping them around in a professional manner you'll need to go to our friend Neil's place. Here, you get the economy show.
Anyway, while we were taking care of Dahlia's cut and style, I asked Kid to check on Dandy and see how she was doing. He came back to tell me she had a moorit (that's brown) lamb. Well lambination, that was quick! We finished up with Dahlia and then I went over to look in on the new family. Low and behold, I walked in on her birthing her second lamb, so she had twins. That makes her first year with a single, and then last year and this year with twins. Bravo Dandy!
So, there you have it folks. Lambing time has begun here with Dandy having the first set of twins for 2013...oh, and they're both ewes, unless I'm mistaken. It's kind of hard to tell there in the dark, and with them being dark, as I follow them around on my hands and knees trying to see the parts, but I'm pretty positive they're girls. Mama and babies are doing fantastic! As for Dandy not getting her full shear, she thinks she's missed her appointment, but I've rescheduled her for a later date. I mean...really...what does she think she's going to do to get out of it this time? M
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals wouldn't agree. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm just called Mom. Life on a farm is full of family and hard work and I wouldn't have it any other way.