In The Meantime - Home on the Range Blog at - 228649

Home on the Range

In The Meantime 
Mar. 23, 2011 2:41 pm 
Updated: Mar. 25, 2011 5:45 am

Yesterday brought another trip to the doctor in town and of course, we can’t just waste a whole day and all that fuel for just one thing, so we picked up 5 little day-old bummer (orphan) lambs. They look pretty rough, as their mothers were undernourished due to the bad weather destroying the roads and the sheepherder is unable to get enough hay to his 2000 sheep. There were 30 little bummers in the barn where I got these at. I got them from the very nice lady that loaned us Jake the Stinkygoat and Free Wooly the ram. She is the one who is rescuing all the bummers from these 2000 ewes that are lambing out in the mud and snow with no shelter and inadequate feed. The guy who owns all these sheep must be devastated this year.
One of them was already sick, so she had started it on anti-biotics. The anti-biotic she had it on is $100 for a bottle, which is not all that pricey when you have 100 or so orphan lambs to keep going. But since I only need 3 cc’s we bought bottle of different stuff for only $35. It effectively DOUBLED the price of our lambs…which I will not complain about, because we dropped a bundle on extra fencing, lamb nipples, 5 sodas, so we could use the bottles, a soft dog crate to stuff them all into for the ride home, and various other sundry things that go along with having orphan lambs.

Because they are in such sad shape, and not very strong, we had decided to put them in an x-pen in the mudroom to avoid their getting chilled in the barn. It would also prevent me from having to carry 5 bottles up there 4 times a day. Randyman dragged it into the house, we set it up, put a nice blanket down to keep them from chilling on the concrete/linoleum floor and made several trips from the truck to the house carrying the stinky, poopy little lambs inside. No more than 10 minutes went by and the blanket was wringing wet. Implement Plan “B”.

We trotted up to the barn, busted open the fresh bale of straw that Tooney didn’t wait for to have Samby-the-lamby on, and transported the bummers up there. All 5 of them look the same, with the exception of one, and you have to turn him upside-down to see he is different, as he is the only boy. I dove into my yarn stash to locate different colors of string, so I could identify them and keep track of who got their bottle and who did not, as I have only 2 hands. Good thing too, because they all took 2 sips, then walked around, came back for a couple more sips, went exploring…it took a LONG time to get their bottles down them, but my mission was finally accomplished. The most difficult part of the procedure was trying to tell which color the strings were, as they were pastels, and the barn is not very bright. Sometimes I am not either.

The Maremmas came and introduced themselves to their newest charges while I fed, then spent the night in front of the rock wall so they could keep one eye on the barn, and one on the animals behind the house. Occasionally, they would relocate and one dog would remain in front of the barn, and one would come to the back porch, where they normally sleep.

Next morning, I crawled out of bed at 6 a.m. to start making bottles. It takes about 3 quarts of goatsmilk 4x a day to feed these critters right now. I have only been milking 1 goat, 1x a day and getting 3 quarts. My math tells me I am in heap big trouble. The last of the baby goats need to be weaned immediately and I have to start milking both goats 2x a day again, in order to avoid buying milk replacer for these guys.

By 7 a.m. I had the 5 bummers lambs and 1 leppie calf fed. Randyman got up and helped me feed the other two sheep, the goats and the Jersey cows, and I set in to milking my first goat. Afterwards I set about crocheting some thicker collars with brighter colors of yarn that I could see.

Next feeding will be at 11ish then 2 ish, when little ‘lavender collar’ gets her shot, then 6-7ish, when all the animals get fed, milked and supplemented again. No one has a real name yet.

Makes for busy days, but at least it’s warmer than Cowcamp!
Mar. 23, 2011 4:10 pm
Dew of the Mountain??? (I totally understand about using what you've got around to get the job done.) That is such a precious little thing in that last picture.
Mar. 23, 2011 5:23 pm
Maybe the Mtn Dew will give them the pickmeup they need LOL
Mar. 23, 2011 6:43 pm
Hey Petey - glad you're on the mend. You are a sucker for the wee ones. But I'll have to admit, I would have taken them home too. What a face! They are so cute! You couldn't go to cow camp so you became a lamb wrangler and increased your sheep herd - - how many sheep do you have now? Your cow boss may start to get nervous when he gets home - LOL. Keep us posted on the wee ones and let us know how cow camp went when the cowboys get home. And post more pictures please!!!
Mar. 23, 2011 8:58 pm
ROFL! One of the guys came in tonite and said the cows are lining out waaay better than last year...and its cold. We have 1 yearling ewe, and 6 lambs now, if I can pull all these little guys through...and I lucked out. Out of the 5 bummers, 4 are ewe lambs! :)
Mar. 23, 2011 10:58 pm
And ewe dear sweet Petey......Ewe are just about the best thing going in South-Eastern Oregon. Ewe da mom of the lambs of God. (It is Easter season afterall)
Mar. 24, 2011 6:56 am
I am handfeeding 5 3wk old pups right now - my english bulldog died the day after they were born - & it is the most exaughsting & rewarding thing i've ever done. good for you for rescuing these babies! enjoy the blog.
Mar. 24, 2011 7:00 am
Ahhhh! What cute little faces. My experience with bottle babies has been limited to kittens and calves. Sounds like you have your hands full even though you didn't get to cow camp but at least you're warmer and have the flush toilet :)
Mar. 24, 2011 7:04 am
Another fabulous blog Petey. Looks like you have your work cut out for you.
Mar. 24, 2011 9:16 am
Mar. 24, 2011 9:17 am
thanks guys, they are so sweet!...they call me "Ma!"
Mar. 24, 2011 11:18 am
Oh are they not the most ADORABLE things you have ever seen??!! :D You are an angel petey! I haven't fed baby sheep since I was a teen visiting my Aunt & Uncles dairy farm 7 hours north of Toronto, I do remember how challenging it can be! and to echo you petey - totally LOL at Avon!!! :D
Mar. 24, 2011 11:46 am
Oh, they are the cutest little things! I will now feel guilty eating the lamb chops I defrosted for dinner. Please tell me (even if it isn't true) that you are raising these little beauties for the wool.
Mar. 24, 2011 11:58 am
Love that last photo! I love hearing about the Maremmas - my Pyr reminds me of them, except he gets to watch his charges (us) from the living room couch! ;) Your guys actually work for a living!
Mar. 24, 2011 6:12 pm
@BigShotsMom.... precisely why I don't eat lamb (or veal) can't bear the thought...
Mar. 24, 2011 10:01 pm
We are keeping the ewe babies for breeding...but..Gitano, baby cows are cute too! LOL
Mar. 25, 2011 5:45 am
I never mastered the techniques of bottle feeding. My boss made me do something else because I was feeding the calves too much. Great post, Petey!
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About Me
Kids are raised, we are ranchhands on a 250,000 acre working cattle ranch 110 miles from the nearest small town, so we raise a lot of our own food, vegetables, fruits, milk,eggs and meat. Love riding and working cattle, but find myself spending a lot more time in the kitchen, and the garden.
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Having 2 Jersey cows as well as milk goats, playing with fresh milk is a hobby, making our own butter, yogurt, sour cream, cheeses, soap and all the other great stuff you can do with fresh raw milk.
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Homemade from scratch...anything! All traditions are sort of gone by the wayside, as we live so far from family now
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A layered Jello dessert...the middle layer never set, so it did the 'ooze-wiggle'...and...well..I liquified a couple of chickens on 2 different occasions, turning them into a black gel. Moral of that story is, don't start cooking then go clean barns!...and there was the time that my kids were helping me make Thanksgiving dinner and SOMEbody (who resembled my youngest son) forgot to put the sugar in the pie!!!
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