My Patience Ain’t All That

I’ve been out every couple hours helping the disabled lamb nurse. Mama ewe is not cooperating. She will not crouch for the lamb. She will not stretch her legs out so that her nipples are accessible and, in fact, almost crosses her leg so the lamb can’t access them. While this is going on, I’m holding the lamb up with one hand, trying to guide a nipple into the lamb’s mouth with the other hand, holding the ewe in place against the wall with my shoulder, and holding her up with my knee. All while I’m bent double. My poor back that has been slammed into concrete by SwampMan rolling a chicken pen over me and then again by the ewe leaping into me last night is NOT happy.

Did I mention that the ewe kicked a flashlight outta my hand earlier tonight and broke it? I had to go get a new one at 11 p.m. Then, when I was bent over trying to assist the lamb to nurse, she kicked me in the face and knocked my glasses off and nearly trampled the lamb. Again.

We engaged in a brief pissing contest. She kicked me, I smacked her with the (new) flashlight. Kick, smack. Kick, smack. Kick, smack. I think I won this round, but the lamb lost. I’m not sure if he got any actual milk.

And I gotta do this again in a couple hours. And be up at 6 to go get the grandkids if my back is going to allow me to get any sleep.

On the positive side, the lamb peed all over me so at least I know that he got something to drink some time today!

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6 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    kcduffy said,

    You’ve considered a headlamp, I suppose? Though they don’t make good weapons to whack sheep with…

  2. 2

    Jenny Haines said,

    Someone at work wants the lamb and will bottle feed it if you don’t want to deal with it (and deal with vet costs) when monday comes around. They will also take mama….but I figure you wanted to keep her.

    • 3

      swampie said,

      I don’t think he’s going to be alive. I couldn’t feed him as nearly as often as he needed today (he only takes about 1/2 ounce at a time and THAT takes at least 1/2 an hour) and he sounds very congested. I think he’ll be dead by morning, but I’ll keep trying to feed him as frequently as I can.

    • 4

      swampie said,

      Um, he won’t be fed to large carnivorous predators, will he? (Mama ewe, hmmmmm, I’m thinking….)

    • 5

      swampie said,

      You know, this entire time, I’ve been going on the premise that lamb was somehow oxygen deprived at birth which would explain his poor muscle tone, weak suck reflex, and congested lung sounds (like perhaps he had some problems in during birth and breathed in amniotic fluid).

      His symptoms could also be explained by selenium deficiency. The pasture grass eaten by Momma Sheep should be high in vitamin E, however. OTOH, Momma Sheep is a picky girl and will NOT eat their sheep mineral or show lamb ration. She will eat only plain corn. She will use Breeze’s (plain) salt lick.

      IF lamb survives until morning, I’ll run up to the pharmacy and try some oral vitamin E.

  3. 6

    swampie said,

    Yeah, I have a headlamp somewhere. The glare off my glasses, though, makes it kinda hard to see.


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