Monday, March 30, 2009

Ready Or Not


It was time for the lambs to leave the pampering provided in the "green bathroom". They are getting too big and too smelly. I was kept busy cleaning out the large dog crate very day so the smell of lamb wouldn't permeate the rest of the household. Every time Hubby would wrinkle up his nose I was off to the "green bathroom" to spread more shavings. That got old so ready or not on Friday evening down to the farm they went. I put their dog crate in the feed shed, gave them a bottle and settled them in for the night. I had turned the heat off in the bathroom for a week or so to harden them off a bit before the big move.
The next morning, Hubby and I showed up with bottles in hand and I called out, "Lambs, are you still alive?"

Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

They were still alive.

Saturday was so cold and rainy they didn't get out much but Sunday dawned bright and sunny and out came the lambs for their first introduction to all the animals. Tully needed sunglasses.

Lucy did a lot of "Are you my mother" exploring. The girl has no fear.



Sunny was fascinated with them which I don't understand because he doesn't care one bit about the rest of the animals.

The llamas hummed and the goats just stared. The bad boys, Rowdy and Riot, stayed safe behind little Lexi.

The lambs had a taste of grass.....


And frolicked in the sun. If you have ever seen a lamb frolic it makes all those bottles well worth it.

They took over the nursery pen and settled in to lie in the sun.

But they weren't the only ones to take advantage of the sunny day. It's been a long winter.

But don't you worry Cora Belle, you are still my favorite baby.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Follow Me To Drive Thru Feed


One of my favorite outings is a trip to the feed store. We just happen to have a drive thru feed store in our neck of the woods. Very ingenious I think. No getting out of the car. You just pull up to the office and are met by a smiling man offering chocolate or a cold bottle of water if it's summer. You pay for your feed and drive through a series of stalls as a strong young lad throws feed in the back of your truck. Now that's my idea of shopping.
So on Sunday I was out of pot bellied pig food and shavings so needed to make a run to Jerry's Drive Thru Feed. Yep, he is even open on Sunday...he has no life (his words not mine).
Hubby and I debated what time he opened and I thought for sure it was 10 o'clock so off we went. We were wrong.


The sign said that he opens at 11:00. Not a big deal we had a hot travel mug of coffee and all the time in the world. But out came Jerry 20 minutes before he opens and swung the gate for us to enter.

He reminded us that he opened at 11:00 and presented us with his hours handwritten on a slip of paper and then gave us another one "to put on your fridge".

As we drove to the office we came upon these.

Apparently you can drive thru livestock shop too.

I took a few pictures of Jerry when he wasn't looking. He kept turning around to see why we were stopping and I would quickly put down my camera.
When we got up to the office to order he was right there with the chocolate. Yum, peppermint patties today.
I ordered my feed and then handed him my credit card. Then I told him I wanted to take his picture and write about him in my blog.
Blog? What's a blog?
I tried my best to explain to him what it was but he never got past the Internet part. He got so excited he ran back in the office and put on his "good hat".
With a big smile he posed with chocolate in hand.
"Please be sure to say I'm single," he said.

I assured him I would and we drove off to have a strong young lad throw feed into the back of our truck. When I looked down, I saw his clipboard and the credit card receipt that I hadn't signed yet still in the truck.
Hubby called out to Jerry and said, "Hey Jerry, you forgot your money."
Jerry ran back to the truck to retrieve his clipboard, pen and the receipt that I had signed.
As he walked away you could hear him say, "Man, I almost lost my pen and clipboard just because I got so excited to be on the Internet."
Hubby and I laughed all the way home.

So ladies, he's single, gives out chocolate.....and has hay connections. What more could you want?

Update! Jerry's hours are Tuesday through Sunday 10-6. They are closed on Monday.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Moly


He never knew a day of hunger, was never tied to a tree or chased by a dog, always had shelter and companionship and was gently ushered out of this world by my kindly old vet.
Rest in peace Moly.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It Made The Children Laugh and Play To See A Lamb At School


I can say, now, that all those bottles were worth it when I saw the kindergarten class that I work in enjoy seeing the lambs come to school. They have been hearing about them for a few weeks so were so excited to see them in the classroom. Sure I gave them the lecture on being calm and quiet so the babies wouldn't get scared but they could hardly contain themselves when the lambs explored their room. Kids are so free to show their joy. They jumped and clapped. They wanted to hold them and touch them.

We fed them bottles, which the lambs were too excited to eat, but the kids didn't care. There were lambs at school!


And other than a little piddle on this girl's pants....


And a little poo on the tall boy's arm.....


A good time was had by all.

photos by my friend, foxtrottinglady

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Not Again!


We hardly ever get snow in Western Washington. This year is different. This morning I woke up to this....



So I decided to post a few pictures of flowers to remind me that spring is right around the corner. These were all taken while I sat on the couch.





And a picture of my new chicken that I found in Boulder.


And Stormy's sad eyes. Don't let them fool you she is the happiest dog in the world.

Especially when it snows!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Differences Between Sheep And Goats

Oh how fun it has been around here with lambs in the bathroom. Although I can't wait until they make the transition outside, I have had the opportunity to observe the differences between baby goats and lambs.
Here is what I have observed sitting in the "green bathroom" on the toilet (lid down, of course) bottle feeding and watching the lambs.

Sheep smell different than goats. Not bad but slightly different. And I've had plenty of opportunities to smell them lately.

Sheep sound different. They have a musical baaaaa with a little vibration at the end. Like Kelly Clarkson.

I think sheep get a bum rap in the smarts department. I find these lambs to be very smart. Especially Lucy. They are even fairly litter boxed train. One time as I sat on my throne, each one jumped back in the crate and went. I couldn't believe my eyes. Chalk one up for the sheep.

Sheep like to stay together. They flock. They will have bursts of independence but move as one, usually right behind me, the big sheep.

The lambs jump and play but stay on the ground more than baby goats. The lambs don't jump on top of anything. They have moves very similar to a Lipizzaner.
Goats are more like a rodeo.

I have enjoyed watching these babies grow up. It has been a bit of a challenge at times especially with Little Bit. She has been very frail. I named her Little Bit after Goldilocks who was called Little Bit as a child by her dad. And she is just a little bit. So Little Bit has been pampered. She gets her bottle first while everyone else baaaaas in the crate.

Here is a small movie of them. And I mean small. I haven't figured out how to load movies very well so don't blink.
video

But the biggest difference is....goat tail up, sheep tail down.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Airing Of The Lambs


I tend to be a bit spontaneous at times and don't think things through. Like with getting bottle lambs while it was basically still winter outside. Where were they going to live? They can't be outside in the cold with no mother to snuggle. As I write this they are predicting 28 degrees in the morning
I got the lambs home and thought, Oh where will I put them? Gee it's cold out.
So into the "green bathroom" they go. The green bathroom is the old bathroom in our house. Never go in there. You may not come out. I have been wanting to remodel this for years but as Hubby so proudly announced the other day, "Good thing we haven't remodeled that old bathroom. We have raised a lot of babies in that bathroom."
And he's right. Green ceramic tile goes from floor to almost ceiling inspiring the name "the green bathroom."
So in the green bathroom in a big dog crate the lambs go. They like it in there. It's warm and every few hours someone tall with three bottles comes in and feeds them.
Every day I take the lambs to the yard for a walk. It has to be one of the cutest things, seeing lambs buck and play in the sun. They tend to move in a flock.....a flock of sheep to be exact.
But when they've had enough they run to the "green bathroom" and jump in their crate.
They are still such babies.
Lucy Lamb


Little Bit


Tully

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Little Orphan Lambies

I have fond memories of raising an orphan lamb as a kid. The sheep farmer not wanting to bother with bottle babies would call a friend of mine when he had an orphan lamb or two. One day she called me and said the farmer called and had a black lamb that needed bottle feeding and she couldn't do it, would I like it. Of course, I said yes.
So when it came to my attention that there were two brown bottle lambs, whose mother had died suddenly, and needed to be bottle fed I jumped at the chance. The sheep farmer went out the day after the lambs were born and their mother was dead. So off Hubby and I went Saturday morning to pick up the babies. They look like two little deer. They are purebred Katahdin sheep. A hair breed of sheep that are raised for meat and shed their wool so there is no need to shear them. Sure I like to knit but I can not ever imagine myself shearing, combing, washing, spinning and then knitting my yarn so no shearing works for me. And to be sure, they won't be eaten here either.
So this is what I picked up on Saturday.



But she also had this.



This could not be denied.



I went for this.



But Hubby said, "Well, as long as we are here, you might as well take all of them."
I figured that maybe someone else might want a little orphan lambie or she could stay here. Either way it seemed a shame to leave her all alone.

So we took her too.


On the way home we stopped and got milk replacer. I was taken aback at the cost of milk replacer. It has gone up in 35 years. I had also forgotten how cold it is in the beginning of March so the babies are in a large dog crate in the spare bathroom.




I feel bad for them because the farmer had banded their tails before I picked them up. I would have left their tails long. I know it is done for cleanliness but they will not grow as much wool on them as wool breeds do and a lot of Kathadin breeders leave them. Besides the brown ones have the cutest white tips on their tails that will fall off when their tails do.


Now the little brown ones are tiny and darling but the white one has personality plus. She is friendly and inquisitive. She will make a good pet lamb....for someone.