Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Flying high

Saturday evening, after spending a day working outside, we decided we may as well vaccinate and de-worm the new lambs (given that we were already incredibly dirty and sweaty) before coming to the house and calling it quits for the day. Separating the lambs from their mothers is always a bit of a rodeo event, so we try to get through it as quickly as we can. All in all, I'm pleased with the way the lambs look at this point in the season. They are starting to really get into the creep feed and are growing into good size lambs. Except for one slightly messy bottom, every one of them looked great. (The lamb with the messy bottom got a dose of Specto-guard and a quick rear-end scrub job in the big sink. Needless to say, I ended up wetter than the lamb when it was all over.)

It may be hard to imagine, especially if you don't live with a collection of animals, but every day brings a new drama. Saturday evening when we walked into the barn, Mrs. Dandy was on a rafter high in the top of the barn and her chick was sitting on top of the feed bunks. We watched, incredulously, as the chick tried to fly up to where it's mother was roosting. She was "talking" to the chick the whole time, obviously encouraging it to keep trying. The chick is maybe 5 inches tall and doesn't really have a body built for flying, but rail by rail the little thing kept going up and up. The top of the barn is easily 30 feet above the ground, if not higher, and all I could think of was how bad it would be if the chick missed his landing spot. When the chick got to within one rail of where Mrs. Dandy was sitting, I had to stop watching. The poor little thing was walking back and forth, stretching it's neck, screwing up the courage to make one final leap. After we finished with the lambs, we went back to check and there it was, all the way up and tucked up under Mrs. Dandy's wing. Amazing! Every night since, the daring feat has been repeated. I think I'm going to have to stop denigrating Mrs. Dandy's mothering instincts.


  1. Perhaps you should change Mrs. Dandy's name to Mrs. Wallenda? That little one seems destined for the high wire....

  2. Melanie-Wish I'd thought of that name! Maybe I'll use it for the baby...Wallenda Dandy....has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

  3. Boy oh boy I'm glad the little one made it to the highwire. When I first starting reading I thought there was a hint of tragedy. Good for Mrs. Dandy peacocks are definitely smarter than guinea fowl :-)

  4. I love the Wallenda name! Also, the lamb on the right - close relative of Graham Lamb or just same father?

  5. Those two (girl on the right-boy on the left) are from another set of triplets. The "former" ram, Buddy, is the daddy of all the lambs this year.Buddy got
    "tutored" at the end of breeding season so he could stay here :) I think it's so interesting that within the same set of triplets the lambs can look either more Romney or more BFL and have completely different fleece characteristics.

  6. Oh my Goodness !!!! I was holding my breath until the end of the story !!!! I am soooo glad that it ended happy !!!! When we first moved to our farm, I tried not to get attached to the animals, as I knew some would be sold, some would be given away and some would die, but that never worked !!!! "Death on the farm ", as my sister calls it, is never easy !!!!
    That little one is so wonderful !!!!
    I loved the story ..... Thank You !!!