Spring Has Sprung

Mother Nature may be having her fun with nighttime temperatures dipping well below zero, but the critters are sure Spring is in the air.

IMG_8446Alice started the party with a beautiful baby girl who shall be named Felony Melanie.

Not long ago we had a dinner party at a friends home where we watched Sweet Home Alabama. If you’ve seen it you know how funny it is. Well, we had a couple bottles of wine (there were several of us – don’t judge) and before you knew it, it had been decided. The first girl lamb would be named Felony Melanie after Reese Whitherspoon’s character. She’s a blonde too so that makes it even more perfect.

Alice is a great momma and even though it was about 25* outside, she had Melanie all cleaned up and dried off and Melanie had done her part by eating a nice big meal. Since it’s still below zero at night we have moved mom and daughter into the barn for a couple days to make sure Felony Melanie gets the best start we can give her.

Thursday was a two-fer. Our new goat herd was harboring aIMG_8452
secret 🙂 Seems one of the girls was smuggling a new little goat under all that fluff. Luna surprised us with a sweet baby boy. Since we were not expecting to be expecting we weren’t well prepared and either Luna had him on the ice instead of the bedding or his first steps staggered onto the ice, but that’s where we found him cold and hungry. We moved Luna to the barn but couldn’t get Maximus to eat, hypothermic goats have no interest in nursing and can die in a fairly short amount of time.

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Knowing this we whisked him away into the house and swaddled him in hot towels fresh from the dryer. Sheep and goats normal body temps are about 103* so it takes a bit of added heat to get them back up to where they belong.

After about 30 minutes of hot towels his temperature returned to normal so we relocated him to the garage and brought Luna in to stay with him. Any time you separate babies from mommas there is always a  chance mom won’t take him back. Luckily, Luna didn’t even hesitate. As soon as we offered him to her she went right to licking and humming to him and let him eat.

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After a great day with the two newbies we got another surprise. IMG_8506 Missy delivered an adorable ram lamb but then she was feeling under the weather so she didn’t attend to him. She had no milk (not sure why but we are looking into it) so we brought him in the house and warmed him, cleaned him, and fed him a bottle.

I’ve dubbed him Smiley for obvious reasons.

To say I’m loving all thesse babies is an understatement. There’s nothing sweeter than cuddling a sleeping baby, even if it is a 4 footed baby.

The house dogs love him too and he learned how to navigate stairs before we had to move him back out to the barn.

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Missy is up and seems to be feeling better but she still doesn’t have milk so we are continuing to bottle feed her baby.

Even though the barn is warmer than the outside temperatures it’s still a bit chilly for a newborn so we gave him a coat to wear to help him stay warm. Between that and extra thick straw bedding he’s doing fine and getting stronger.

Bottle feeding is making him super friendly and it’s also bonding him to people rather than sheep. This is the unfortunate outcome of bottle feeding. He will not be inclined to graft onto another mom, even if she wanted to let him, because he does not equate ewes with food now.

For now Smiley will be fed by people every 4 hours. Over the next couple days we can extend the time between feedings but it will be a couple months of bottles 3 or 4 times a day. Fortunately, our work and school schedules are spread out so between us we can share the feed schedules and keep him on track.

I’ll close with a picture of Felony Melanie, our Romney/Cormo lamb. May her fleece be on par with her parents, for they both have excellent fleece.

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About TowerRanchAlaska

I always wished I was raised in a barn.
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