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Friday, June 9, 2017

Biscuit's Buddies!

You've seen this lamb before.  There's just a hint of a clue left to jog your memory.  Look at her right ear ;-).

There's a bit more to the rest of her story.  Getting her "on the ground" was a bit of a gamble.  Her mom was one of the grand dame ewes at Final Frontier Farm and while Kathy knew it was a risk, she thought/hoped the old ewe had one more lamb in her.  If she could just get a ewe lamb...and she did! She had a beautiful black ewe lamb.

Of course, not all fairy tales have a happy ending.  Momma put everything she had into the baby...and then didn't have enough milk.  Everyone pitched in to take care of the baby and things were looking good...and then we noticed the tell tale signs of a selenium deficiency.  Selenium is a killer - too much or too little.  Lamb care went into high gear.

She and her mom lived in the front of the lambing barn all spring.  They could come and go into the front yard, but mostly the lamb just stayed in the barn.  Momma would go out and graze around the parking area, keeping a close ear and eye on her lamb, and come back in to check her every few minutes.  She took the very best care of her that she could.

Other than worrying about her, I enjoyed having a bottle lamb to snorgle during breaks in lambing and barn work.  I fed her, held her, took some adorable pictures of her...  Watching momma monitor every single thing we did to her lamb was heartwarming.  She was a funny old ewe and I enjoyed her almost as much as the lamb.

There were a couple times we thought about putting her down.  She was one very sick little girl.  She was also one very tough little girl and she never gave up.  When I decided I wanted a buddy for Biscuit, she was the top of my list.  And, having watched the two together, I knew I'd never want to split them up, so momma got to come, too :-).

And now Biscuit has a buddy (she's actually his half sister - they have the same dad :-) and a surrogate mom.  

Several folks have asked about Biscuit's collar.  It's for his leash ;-).  Being the helicopter mom that I am and with how much trouble he's had lately with his tummy (that seems to be in pretty good order now, thankfully!), I've taken to keeping his eating under very close watch.  

Biscuit will eat anything.  I started to wonder if his propensity to eat everything except good old grass was possibly due to being raised on goat milk (goats are notorious for eating anything ;-), but the black lamb was raised on goat milk as well and she's a good grazer.  She has a better mom. Hopefully she'll teach Biscuit.

They are off to a good start.  

"I guess this grass stuff isn't so bad..."

Right before he realized I was busy taking pictures and ran off to grab some probably poisonous pokeweed along the fence...and she followed him :-o.  That wasn't what I had in mind, kids.  Sigh...

This really is a funny old ewe.  One of my favorites.  She still watches that lamb like a hawk and still watches everything I do to her, whether feeding her a bottle or holding her for a vet check up.  She didn't think twice when I offered her a cookie and when she took her first look around the paddock, she found the free ranging mint and I swear I heard her say "Hmmm, they even have a mojito garden here!"

Sometimes you do get to move to "a nice farm in the country" :-).

Kate shouldn't be out there, but she keeps sneaking into the field when I'm in there :-/.  There is a gap in the gate and even though I told her to stay out, sitting out in the field together is sort of our thing and she is not to be denied. That's fine when you know the sheep are okay with that, but this ewe is very distrustful of border collies and made it clear from the start that she was not afraid to take Kate out!  

Kate seems to know that and has gone above and beyond to show her that while she must be obeyed, she'll be fair and can be trusted.  The lamb snuck out through the same gate when I was feeding two nights ago and Kate so, so gently and quietly and slooowly walked her back through.  Mom watched the whole time with me in between (like that was really going to do any good if things went south :-o) and I think we all breathed a sigh of relief.  

Neither has a real name yet.  Grandma and "the crippled lamb" will not work ;-).  20's Uncle John has hooked me on the Tiffany Aching stories from the hugely popular (but nowhere on my radar) Discworld series.  I'm toying with Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany...but I really don't like the name Tiffany...even though it's perfect for a tough little brown eyed, brown haired girl.  

Mostly I'm mentioning the series to recommend them to anyone else who may not know about them. I haven't tried any of the Discworld books yet, but the offshoot Tiffany Aching series has this non-fantasy reader's interest piqued.  There are sheep and shepherding in the stories!  And the writing is very good.  I've listened to two now and can't wait to start the third.  

So, in speaking of fairy tales, let's all hope this one does end up with a happy ending.  It still might not, so be prepared. I can't tell you not to get attached to anyone...because I know we all already are. We are not going to dwell on what could still go wrong and we will continue to do all we can to take the very best care we can, right?  Right.  

Now let's come up with some good names!

And enjoy having a new puzzle!  

You'll need to click on the image to get to the puzzle.  I think that worked okay for everyone last time, right?

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