Biscuit meet world. World meet Biscuit – our newest addition and a bottle fed lamb!
What an exciting day! We were headed out to pick up a pasture brush for the sheep. What’s that, you ask? You know – the brushes used by street sweepers? Well, when they are no longer useful for streets, farmers buy them to put in their pasture for their cattle, horses, and sheep as scratching posts. And what a hoot it is to watch them because they really enjoy a good back scratch!
And why would we want them for our sheep? Well, our sheep are Katahdin sheep. They are self-shearing sheep that shed each spring, which is great because we don’t have to shear them.
But that also means they tend to look a little rastafarian about this time of year. The not so friendly sheep won’t come close enough to allow us to brush them, unlike our bottle fed lambs, Bucky & Buster, who look like a million bucks. Instead, the others rub as much as they can along fences and trees in an attempt to get as much of their winter coat off as possible. However, it isn’t enough to really make a difference, and even into the summer when it is pretty warm they may still be attempting to shed their coats.
So, that’s why the brush! Farmers use it for their cattle, horses, and sheep as a scratching post and we were lucky enough to find one, thanks to one of my sisters. But I digress.
Back to the exciting day – we were sitting in the van ready to pull out when another sister called. She said two of her ewes just gave birth. One of them had twins and rejected both. The other ewe had triplets and was feeding all 5! This couldn’t continue and she would keep one, but asked if wanted the other. We said YES! We have been wanting a female bottle fed lamb so that when she had lambs of her own, they would all be friendly.
What great timing! We quickly went back into the house, gathered up all the supplies we needed including colostrum, towels, a thermos full of hot water, measuring cups and heating pads, and headed out. We picked up the brush, loaded it into the back of the van and drove up to meet my sister and her husband.
And there she was, the sweetest little lamb, curled up in a box with shavings just as content as could be. When we arrived home, Tom got the crate set up for her in our kitchen, and I held her as she napped in my arms in the recliner. If you’ve never smelled a new lamb, foal, or calf, you just don’t know what you’re missing.
So just a note – when the COVID-19 pandemic is over – and we pray it is soon – just know we have an escape you will relish. Baby chicks arrived last week, Biscuit arrived today, and our turkeys will be having babies in June. Three of our youngest ewes are due in August and we are looking forward to a wonderful summer. Hope you can join us!