A true pet story, the only difference is the pet is not a cat, or a dog, it is a sheep. How one lamb was not only lucky to be alive, but also became a pet.
January 11, 2009, it was a cold and windy winter day in Alberta, Canada. Temperatures were below freezing and there was a wind chill. A few days earlier a set of twin lambs had been born and it was their first day going outside in a small pen. My daughter and I had decided to go out and check on them and to take their photograph.
My daughter went out first and immediately knew something was wrong. She heard the familiar baah sound made by new lambs as they called for their mom. It wasn’t the twins we already had, it was another two lambs, both still wet. There was a white one, she was standing, and a black one laying down with the sack still partially on it. Two new baby girls, with no mom to be found.
For a moment we were not even sure which ewe they belonged too as none of our usually good moms was showing any interest. It turns out they belonged to a ewe who we were not even aware was pregnant. Her name was Favorite because of her friendly disposition. Sadly she had earlier suffered a stroke, she was thin and had given no indication of being pregnant. The lambs were smaller than they should have been so certainly the birth was premature. Favorite, perhaps because of the stroke, or the stress on her body, wandered off. We realised these were her lambs because she had some placenta hanging out of her (this is normal for a sheep that just delivered).
We got the two lambs and mom into the barn. It was a rush to get them warmed up and dried off. The one above had ears that were so cold, but she was the stronger of the two. The black lamb had to be taken into the house to be warmed up. All three of us, myself, my husband, and daughter, had jobs to do.
Poor Favorite had no milk. which meant we had two options. One: The vet could give her an injection to help her produce milk. Two: We could bottle feed the lambs, an expensive venture being that sheep powder milk is about $50 a bag, the lambs need regular feedings for at least 2 to 3 months.
We decided to bottle feed the lambs. Favorite’s thin body wouldn’t be forced to tax itself for the sake of saving a little work and money. She still loved her lambs and was talking to them in a sweet sheep sort of way. As such they did not need to be kept in the house.
Published in: Pets