I arrived home from the Farm Science Review this week to find a tiny lamb clad is a shirt strolling through my bedroom. Sadly, I was not as surprised by this as you might think.
My father-in-law’s flock of Horned Dorsets is lambing at full force. We’re up to 47 lambs born this month, with another batch yet to come in the next few weeks. Of that 47, there have been two sets of triplets, which obviously create some challenges. One set of triplets is at our barn and, because the ewe does not have enough milk for all three, they need to be bottle fed. While the lambs are very young, they are fed an exasperating 6 times a day. This, of course, makes for quite a bit of extra work, particularly at the midnight and 4 am feedings.
The smallest lamb born this fall (and one of the smallest my wife has ever seen) resides in our barn. My daughter named her Lily. While very frail when born, Lily soon was scarfing down the bottle as aggressively as the other bottle lambs. My wife brought her in to clean her up one day this week, to keep her from getting cold when she was taken back outside, she put one of our daughter’s old shirts on the lamb.
I must admit that I was not thrilled to find a lamb strolling through the house in a shirt, but I was not really surprised. I guess that with two small children and a barn full of animals, there really isn’t much that surprises me anymore — even a sheep in a shirt in the house.
For more on Lily and my wife’s side of the story, check out the guest blog written by my wife Kristin this week.