Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Spring Morning on the Farm

The overnight rains welcomed a red ewe lamb into the world.

The ewe gave birth under the overhang.

I like to bring the new moms and newborns into the barn for a few days of observation.

The red ewe isn't keen on that idea and stomps her foot. She is not coming into the barn, even if her baby is in there. Placing the newborn in a stall in the barn, I consider my options.

Dewey Kitty comes into the barn to watch, and deciding this might be a good show, he climbs into the rafters.

When moving sheep, I've learned to look for opportunities.

I slowly walk around the paddock. If, I can get the new mom and a pregnant ewe separated from the group, I might be able to get them to go into the barn.

Two pregnant ewes, the new mom and a wayward lamb move into another paddock. I shut the gate, grab the wayward lamb and return him to his mother. I move the moms and lambs into pasture.

While the new mom won't go into the barn by herself, she'll gladly follow the pregnant ewes into the barn. Now, I must wait for the new mom to go the stall where her lamb is.

Dewey Kitty's euphoria over climbing into the rafters passes as he realizes he does not know how to get down. He cries.

I wait.

The newborn lamb cries.

Dewey cries.

I notice that the newborn lamb and Dewey sport similar coat colors.

Dewey cries again.

Finally, the new mom goes into the stall with her lamb.

I shut the door, then turn to my two pregnant ewes.

Surely they'll lamb soon.

Now that they're separated, I decide to keep them separate and in the barn.

Dewey cries louder.

I give the ewes hay and water, then turn to my distressed kitty.

"Someday you'll have to figure this out," I tell him, climbing onto the stall door so that I can reach him.

Unlike many cats, Dewey is a trusting soul, and doesn't panic when I snag him from the rafters.

My usually pristine indoor kitty is wet and dirty from his morning adventure.

I don't look much better. My sweatshirt and jeans are stained with manure, sweat, iodine and Nutri-Drench.

Carrying Dewey, we go inside to clean up.

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