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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?

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4 Responses to “Willie the orphan lamb”

  1. Tammy Says:

    Oh my goodness – he is sooo cute.

  2. Lindsey Says:

    Wow he is adorable! Being 23 and away from the farm now, I really miss having those little bottle babies inside the house. We had everything from cows, sheep, pigs, and chicks in our laundry room at one point. I hope he has a healthy road ahead of him!


  3. He’s doing great so far, Lindsay. We’re still bottle-feeding, but he loves his alfalfa and pellets, too. Good memories you have.


  4. […] 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 […]


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