Notes from Windward: #69
A Shepherd's Update
the second month
It's late May, a month and a half after the first lambs were born. Here's the
roster of mothers and their live lambs:
Dolly has been taking very good care of Joker and Lilly, and they're
running about with the herd on the daily grass-munching walks and
eating grass and hay just like the big sheep. Dolly is a really good
mother and a great part of the herd. She's not particularly friendly
with humans, but she knows what needs to be done and does it. A most
| ||Dolly:|| ||Joker and Lilly|
| ||Pepper:|| ||Pip|
| ||Pia:|| ||Luna|
| ||Whitey:|| ||evidently she only looks pregnant|
Joker and Lilly
As for Pepper, we discovered that one of her teats is malfunctioning,
so she was not able to support the three lambs she gave birth to. Only
Pip was left, and he didn't get much of a chance for milk from Pepper,
so we began bottle-feeding him. Since he didn't get the needed
colostrum from Pepper, he was susceptible to getting sick, and in fact
he went through a dangerous bout (or two?) of scours (diarrhea).
Colostrum is the first milk from the mother. It is very rich in
immunities and is extremely important that lambs get it right away
after birth. Anyway, Pip's all right now.
Pip smiles for the camera
Pia had two female lambs, of which she lost one. The lambs were born in the midst of a cold snap, and assuming the cold
night killed the little one, a decision was made to put Luna, the
remaining lamb, in Prop House with Pip for the night to stay warm. The
next day Pia would not accept her as her daughter, so Luna became part
of the Bottle-fed Brigade along with Pip and the goat kids. In the
future it would be wise to have a solid lambing pen with lots of good
straw on a cold night to prevent something like this from happening
Luna poses for the camera
As for Whitey, she never gave birth. We don't know why. One conjecture
is that she's infertile. We have no way of knowing if she was like
this in the past since Whitey is the one we have no records for
whatsoever. Another conjecture is that Chaucer never had a chance to
impregnate her, since we moved him out of the pen last fall because he
was doing some aggressive headbutting with Junior then. Who knows.
And the goats...
After Jewel died, her two young bucks also joined the Bottle-fed
Brigade. Leo has been extremely rambunctious and sometimes annoying.
He likes to climb way to the top of things, and even on people. We are
starting to teach him to stay down off the people. It's all right now
as he's pretty small and adorable, but when he grows up to be a
spritely buck, his climbing and headbutting will not be welcome.
Mikey and Leo check out the camera
Mikey, on the other hand, is quite well-behaved. They're both growing
steadily, although Leo is the bigger of the two. They should be
starting to eat forest food (instead of milk) around now. Mikey's
begun licking and biting at grasses and leaves. Leo is a bit too
distracted by his own cajoling to bother with solid food. We'll see
how that transition goes.
Part of the problem with having three-month internships and
apprenticeships is a loss of continuity. Some crucial information gets
lost or forgotten within the flurry of change. It is therefore crucial
to maintain detailed records of what goes on and when. We have
recently started a log for the gardens and one for the animals to help
preserve some of this information.
Unfortunately I have never found
anything about Whitey (or the sheep who would be Whitey with a
different name). Part of the reason for writing in the Notes is to
preserve the geneology and health information about all the animals,
preferably with some delightful pictures thrown in the bargain.
Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 69