Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Your 2011 Fall Lamb Lineup

Your 2011 Fall Lamb Lineup
December 19, 2011 Mary Jo

Here it is!  The Final Lamb Roster for the Fall 2011 season…five fresh new faces added to the Five Green Acres team.

Born first, Garnet’s little guy is now the Big Man About Town, appearing gargantuan in the midst of the other lambs, the way a newborn baby makes your however-much-older baby look nearly grown-up.  He’s full of energy, bounding about the winter pasture, and has likely grown an inch in the few minutes it took me to write this paragraph.  He’s a good, strong boy that shall remain nameless.  If you get my drift.

You may remember this sweet face from our little lambing adventure last week.  Now quite dry and fluffy and decidedly less yolk-colored, this sweet girl has been named Agnes.  She’s also a vibrant, strong little ewe, with a penchant for sneaking out the lamb-size hole in the gate.  Not that we intended for a lamb-size hole to be present in that gate; boarding it up is on the lengthy To-Do list, but until then, Agnes enjoys going on walkabout and returning at her leisure. (the very first pic in this post is also Agnes)

This wee little ram was born to Lily on Thursday afternoon.  His body is big, his legs are long, but he’s all bones.  The journey from womb to world seems to have taken its toll on him; he faltered shortly after being born, curling up lethargically (and still wet) and refused to start nursing.  Oh, he had me worried – I broke into my stash of frozen sheep colostrum gleaned from Garnet last Spring and administered it to him through an emergency feeding tube.  Then I brought him inside, wrapped in a blanket, and rocked him in front of the woodstove for a good half hour or more.  Really.  He slept the whole time, waking only after the kids discovered the presence of a LAMB IN THE HOUSE! Kisses were what he needed most of all, it seemed, after a belly of warm milk and a good snuggle, and after getting a good handful of them, he took to his wobbly legs.

I ushered him back out to the Sheep Hotel, where his worried momma and a heat lamp awaited his return, and headed off to the Open Sewing Night I was hosting, wrought with worry.  When I returned later to check up on him, I entered the sheep enclosure, and did the customary head count to make sure all of the lambs were accounted for.  Baby, momma and baby, momma and baby, I counted.  Wait.  One, two…three lambs out and about??  That’s one more than I expected, since Lily’s little guy was penned inside the Hotel.  Sylvia!  Unassuming Sylvia had birthed a lamb quietly on the pasture – a healthy lamb already standing and starting to nurse.  That was more than I bargained for!  I carefully led the newborn and Sylvia into the draft-free Sheep Hotel, set up another cozy spot for them to begin their How-do-you-do bonding time and went back to attending to Lily’s little guy.  Switching back and forth between the two newborn lambs, I had plenty to do – help dry off Sylvia’s new arrival (a ewe!), try to help the little guy find Lily’s generous teat.  I was quite distracted when Sylvia turned her backside to me and in my face was another lamb, in the process of being born. WOWEE!  What a night!  I gently eased the second lamb (a twin ewe!) onto the ground just as Andrew made his way to the Hotel.  In a single evening, lambing had come to a close.  Garnet, Gloria, Lily, and then Sylvia, done.   The combination of expectant ewes paired with the onslaught of The Holidays could have been hairy, but the timing was to our favor.  Pure luck!

Sylvia’s twin girls have been named Camille and Clementine and, as is befitting of twins and their competition for limited resources, are nursing almost constantly.  They are tiny, sweet things – seemingly fragile but determined.  I’m confident that they’ll be vigorous little ones, confident too that Sylvia’s a pro at this twin thing, having already borne one set in the Spring. (Violet and The Pharaoh) She’s a keeper.

Camille, the oldest and biggest, is on the left, resting her wee head on Clementine’s bony rump.  Fill out those wrinkles, Girlies!

Back to Lily’s little guy – I’m not quite ready to take him off of my Things to Worry About list.  He is definitely eating, at least enough to keep him alive, but he spends a lot of time curled up in a sleeping heap.

That makes this sight the most heart-warming and relief-laden of all.  I have great hopes for this little ram; his parentage of lovely, spinnable Corriedale (Lily) and super-soft Rambouillet (Sam the Sham) promises to be a lovely fiber mix.  My hands are twitching just thinking about it…


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