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Competitive Bottle-Feeding

August 20, 2012

Here are Willie and King, two of our bottle babies from last spring. Willie is a Hampshire/Suffolk lamb and King is an Alpine buck (dairy goat). We fed them twice a day for about 12 weeks, 8 ounces each time. Check out their wiggling tails to see how much they enjoy their bottles — and how much they love to race to the finish.

King wins, both on speed and style. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdz9yCj1lkY&feature=youtu.be

Willie & King

Willie the orphan lamb

April 22, 2012

Willie the orphan lamb

I’ve been a farm wife for more than 20 years. Not once has a farm animal made its way into the house.  That is, until a couple of weeks ago when a ewe (female sheep) died after giving birth. What to do but start bottle feeding her lamb? Since the little male, who came to be known as Willie, needed to eat about every four hours, he came inside.

My farmer-in-law brought out a baby bottle and diapers from the grocery store and we were set. Since Willie had only sucked on his mother for a short time — and because he was hungry — he quickly took to the bottle. We started him on canned goat milk until we were able to buy powdered milk replacer for sheep.

He was just so darn cute — always eager to eat, snuggle and play. The kids took turns falling asleep with him each night. I would gather him up before I went to bed, so he could have his last bottle of the day and then settled him in to his blanket in our mud room. I didn’t even mind those 2 a.m. feedings.

But, lambs grow up and need to be sheep. So, today Willie is back outside in his pen. We brought home a three-week-old Alpine dairy goat buck yesterday, so he has a pen mate. We just finished feeding both for the night. When we left, they were busy practicing butting heads. Their pen is full of fresh straw, so I’m sure they’ll tuck themselves in soon. Or, not. Who knows what happens in the farmyard when the farmer goes in the house?

Twin lambs born on National Ag Day 2012.

These twin lambs were born this morning, on National Ag Day. One is male and one female and they’re doing great. This is the first lambing for this ewe and she’s keeping them warm and full. See them in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrHOHVriP9c&feature=g-upl&context=G27b7a95AUAAAAAAAAAA.

Last year, we also had an Ag Day birthday.  My 4Her took “Sparkles” to the Sedgwick County Fair last July and she’s now part of our herd. Here she was a year ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EbOLxpLdBbU&feature=channel.

Happy Ag Day everyone. Thanks farmers and ranchers for all you do.

This ewe lamb (female) is just a few hours old. She is a cross between the Hampshire and Suffolk breeds. My 4Her plans to show her at the county fair this summer. Boy and lamb will spend lots of hours together until then.

Wool coats

December 11, 2011

Our farm animals are putting on their winter coats. No one does it better than our sheep, though. Don’t Molly and our other young ewes look warm, even fashionable in their wool coats? Our sheep are mainly a cross between the Hampshire and Suffolk breeds. D. shows lambs at the county fair for 4-H.

We shear them once a year, in the spring, and deliver the wool to our area sheep association. They pay 29 cents a pound — a little spending money for D.

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