Notes from Windward: #63

Marge is Still With Us

     Well, spring is here, and so is Marge :-)

     Last fall, due to her frail condition, it looked as if Marge would not survive the winter. Happily, that was not the case, and Marge is still with us. In fact, she did more than survive, her condition has improved and she's stronger than she was last fall.

     Rather than just fading away, Marge is more assertive this year than last, and even seems friendlier. Ewe go girl!

Marge enjoying the spring weather
     We had been giving her Glucosamine for her arthritis. By trial and error, we learned that aspirin works better. We began her treatment by hiding the aspirin in her alfalfa pellet treats, as we had done with the Glucosamine.

     But, Marge is a pretty sharp sheep, and after about six weeks she became very adept at finding the asprin tablet and spitting it out. Now we crush it up and mix the powder into her oats. She hasn't found a way around that, but she knows her oats are doctored and gives me a dirty look to let me know that she knows.

     Lambing season is upon us. As it often does, lambing started out badly with the loss of Opal and her lamb followed a short time later by the death of Mattie's baby. But once the problem pregancies were out of the way, the full term births started, and now we have over 30 lambs busily practicing jumping and stampeding from one end of the main pen to the other and back again, and again in the boundless enthusiasm that makes them such a joy to watch.

     Six of them are bottle babies, and because of their enthusiasm for the bottle they have been dubbed the "piranah sheep." They're not actually dangerous, but don't expect to get away without getting completely overrun by this riotous school of little bottle sharks.

     With this temporary increase in population, it has become necessary for Marge to change her life style, and for now she has to share her pen with the new mothers and lambs. Like the matriarch she is, she sits serenely in the midst of the lambs racing and bouncing all about her. She endures all the racket of lost lambs bleating for their mothers, and is still able to hustle for her share of the food, thank you very much.

     Lambing is a challenge and a trying time for everyone. Fortunately, Marge is still more than up to it.