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  • Writer's picturePatrick

Another lamb!

Our second little lamb, Lily, arrived May 4. If you remember, that was the day of the wild wind storm in southern Ontario. Of course, Lily was born right in the midst of it. We checked on Poppy earlier in the day and there were no signs that she was ready to deliver. Paul let them out to pasture as usual. We were inside during the next few hours of wind and rain catching up on paperwork and housework, not concerned for the sheep since they have an outdoor shelter with lots of hay if they need it. Around 4 o'clock, Paul decided to check on the animals and I looked out and saw him running back to the house. A lamb had just been born in the midst of all that chaos and 125 km/h winds - a pure white lamb we called Lily. Also surprising was the fact that Poppy only had one lamb. We and the vet all thought that there would be twins. We shuffled the other sheep into the main barn to give Poppy and the baby time alone. The shelter was shaking in the wind!

Poppy was not interested in the little lamb. She cleaned and licked the lamb only a bit and she wouldn't let the baby suckle. After waiting over an hour, we started feeding colostrum. This continued for the next 24 hours since Poppy was still not letting Lily feed. This wouldn't be such a big deal except that we were without power and needed to heat water on the BBQ every few hours when we needed it for the formula. Finally the power came back on about midnight making things much easier.

The next three days were full of frustration. Poppy was still skittish and there had been very little bonding with the baby and no feeding. We tried everything to get Lily to feed. Nothing worked. We have heard first time moms were a little nervous and unsure of what to do but this was too much. All our neighbours had their own advice on what to do as well! We were both tired after four days of running to the barn to feed formula every four hours and trying to get Lily to latch on to her mom. We thought it was bad when it took Maisie 12 hours to catch on! We threw up our hands and resigned ourselves to bottle feed this lamb for the duration.

Guess what! Surprisingly, after being at loose ends over what to do, we went to the barn and found Lily feeding! Not wanting to believe what we were seeing, we spent the next two days spying on them to make sure it was really happening. The two have joined the rest of their small family on the field and all are doing great. Paul and I are still tired!

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