tablelambOn Saturday morning, I could not find #33’s little white lamb. I looked and looked, and finally spotted him, curled up on the edge of the fenceline, ready to die. He was very chilled and had a cold mouth and no sucking reflex. So, into the kitchen he went. Well, who doesn’t go through lambing season without a lamb in the kitchen at some point, I suppose? And I really thought I was past the finish line by now!

I stuck him on a heating pad and bundled him up while I warmed up milk replacer. I had to tube feed him, there was no way he was going to suck a bottle, he was nearly a goner. I put him on the dining room table to warm up and digest the milk, while I worked on the computer. And sure enough, after an hour or so, he started to stretch out and “kick the covers off” because he was getting too warm.  nursing

He revived pretty well, and nursed willingly from the bottle after that. I went down later and milked #33 out and then, boy, did he really nurse eagerly when he had fresh milk! I took him for one visit to #33 during the day, to verify she still considered him hers, and she did. He nursed off her a little bit, but was still weak, so I kept him in the kitchen overnight. He stayed in a wire dog crate on clean towels, safe from the, er, attentions of the Border Collies. MaggieAndLambThey were thrilled to pieces about having a lamb in the house, to say the least. I’m not sure if they were hoping he’d die so they could eat him, or dash through the house so they could chase him. But I suspect their intentions are less than noble either way. 😉 I let them sniff and be near him as long as I was within smacking distance, in case they did something naughty. 😉 And a few times, they did. Sometimes their urges got the better of them, and they’d give him a little paw or nose nudge, hoping, just hoping, maybe he’d bolt, or do something interesting. And I could see by the whites of their rolling eyes, they could barely contain their excitement over what might happen next. But, alas, he was boring and sleepy most of the time. Licking

One thing I learned a long time ago though is that when you bottle-feed animals, it’s messy, and it gets them all sticky. But if you try to wipe them with wet towels, it starts to chap their tender skin. But if you let the dog lick them clean, viola, it’s as nature intended, no chafing and the dogs can get them cleaner than I can. So, Gene fit the bill perfectly, she is an obsessive licker anyway. I’m always telling her to stop licking me, or things, so this was one time when she could lick to her heart’s content. She and Maggie also obliged in cleaning his behind (mmmm), which is something the mother ewe would normally do for a little newborn. So, ignoble intentions aside, they do help, as long as they’re acutely supervised! :)  ATVRide

He really started looking good by evening, and he woke me up twice during the night demanding more milk. He had gained an ounce since his birth (after losing some weight during his ordeal). So this morning I reunited him with his mother and siblings, and penned them in a jug out in the field to be sure the little guy doesn’t get left behind again, until he’s stronger. This time, #33 didn’t seem to mind that he is wearing a jacket. Fortunately it’s a beautiful sunny day, I’ve seen him nurse, #33 has an enormous udder that could probably feed six, and I think he’ll be ok.