-27 This Morning

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Reading the weather report my mind goes to the things that will be frozen and immobile: the truck, the paddock water hydrant, possibly the apartment pipes. However so far I’ve brought all the animals safely through this cold. Knock wood.

Every morning I heat a bottle of milk replacer and put it in my pocket. As my records have run out, I have no idea when (or even if) any more lambs will be born. With the sheep still in full fleece, their udders are invisible. Nothing will be clear until shearing. I saw more breedings, but I saw Georgie bred to be due two weeks ago, and that was a bust. So at this point I simply try to be prepared for anything when I get to the barn.

After I check everyone and find no new developments, I still have the bottle under my jacket. I bring it out and offer it to the newest babies. These youngest lambs remember the red-nippled bottle and they rush for a warm snack.

Powdered lamb milk replacer tastes terrible — nothing like real milk. (Yes, of course I’ve tasted it. If a nipple becomes plugged and a newborn is nursing to no avail, without a thought I pop the teat in my mouth and suck to clear it, then pop it back in the mouth of the lamb. There are a lot of things I worry about in life, but not lamb germs.) The lambs love the replacer just as back in the 1970s I loved TAB. Who cares what it tastes like!

There is a lot of jostling and sucking on my fingers. All I have to do is rotate the bottle among the greedy mouths.

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Everyone gets a couple of ounces and then treats are over for another day.

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4 Responses to -27 This Morning

  1. Erika says:

    What tags do you use on your lambs? I have had 2 lambs rip out their tags this year. I used the Q-flex 1.5 from Premier but thinking of using a smaller temporary tag.

    • adkmilkmaid says:

      Hi Erika. This year and last I used the Q-flex 1.0. I hate them, and only switched to them because Premier discontinued the almost perfect EasyTag II size 1. The Q-flex are no easier to insert and so much harder to read for these aging eyes that I find them impossibly annoying. I will NEVER buy them again. (I had ordered two years’ worth last year.) At some point I hope to do a post on this problem. Stay tuned. 🙂

  2. Shawn H says:

    I don’t care how cold it is, that kind of a greeting in the morning warms your heart. 🙂

  3. Cathie Shiff says:

    I know exactly what you mean about clearing the nipple of the bottle by sucking on it. You can do this one-handed and have the bottle back down to the gang in just moments. Ha. Enjoy your posts! Cathie Shiff, Wits End Farm, Virginia

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