Sunday, April 20, 2008

9 X 3 or 4 = a lot of bottles

We have had some glorious weather of late and the crabapples are bursting with blooms. Because we have had cooler weather than usual, things seem to be coming into bloom a little later and staying longer, which is just fine with me. My lilac bushes are full of blooms and I'm cutting them to fill vases all over the house. I love the way they smell and knowing they are a short-term pleasure, makes me appreciate them all the more.

I'm trying to remember to stop and smell the lilacs right now because otherwise, I am covered up in barn smells. We have one more ewe left to have lambs and I am so grateful it is almost over. Out of the 19 who have lambed so far, we have had 7 sets of triplets. That's not the usual situation for the breeds of sheep we have. Nature did not really intend for there to be more than two, I think. I mean, consider the fact that there are only two places for lambs to nurse, and you can quickly see that having three competing for the available places makes for someone getting the short end of it! That is where I enter the picture. At this moment, I am supplementing 9 lambs and it takes a lot of time and energy to prepare bottles 3 and 4 times per day for each lamb. Hopefully, they will start eating grain in the next few weeks and I can gradually reduce the number of bottles. The lambs are so cute at this age, and one of the joys of having them around is to watch as they run around the fields in little gangs, jumping and bumping into each other. Already I can see personalities emerging. The first born lamb is a ram lamb and he has a very confident way of interacting with the others. You can tell, he plans on being the boss of everyone in his world! All too soon, it will be time to make decisions about which ones go and which ones will become part of the flock. So, even though I'm somewhat overwhelmed at the moment with bottle feeding chores, I know it won't last forever.

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