Thursday, April 22, 2010

still kicking

The littlest lamb is still alive, but still hunched over. I feed her morning and night with the drenching syringe, as she still will not/cannot suck on the bottle. It is a fight every time. Unlike most starving lambs, who quickly figure out that scary human = food, she continues to resist the connection and I have to chase her down and feel her little heart pounding away in fear in her chest after I catch her.


Is her problem simply that she is dumb as a box of rocks?

I dunno.

I suspect that she probably would have died by now if I had not insisted on more food in her belly. It remains to be seen if she will die anyway. More likely than not, her growth will be stunted, because she is already so far behind her siblings at this point.


See how much I know? Not much.

What I do know is that she has gained one pound, I would like to think thanks to my help. I do know that I couldn't sit idly by and let her starve to death. I also know that she is a fighter; most lambs would have given up the ghost by now. She has already figured out how the creep area works (the lambs can get in to the food; their greedy mothers cannot) and she is constantly at the grain in there. I am going to try a trick my friend Laurie taught me, and sprinkle some milk replacer formula on the grain to give her a further nutritional boost.


It's one of those no-win situations that makes me, well, lose sleep. Should I be interfering in this one, or let nature take its course? Nothing I am doing seems to be making much of a difference, so I worry that there is something bigger going on that can't be fixed, but she's still there morning after morning, at least until now.


I know, we all know, I'll keep on interfering. I have had plenty of training as a parent, after all.


  1. All the best with the lamb! Is there a growth, steroid shot that the vet can give the lamb a head-start? I know what you are going through. They are fun animals...but the agony is almost parallel.

    Thanks for the idea on sheep worked. I think I would have lost my mind...if I had to do the other route again.

  2. How ever it turns out, you have done your best.
    Not all of them are going to make it.

    Hard lesson of shepherding :(

  3. She sounds like she has a mind of her own. She may manage by going the creep-feed route, but you are probably correct that she won't grow as well.

    I had one born to a first time mom who wanted nothing to do with the babies. Her brother took the bottle gratefully, and she just refused. She ate off everyone when she could, ate creep, and as far as I know, is still thinking she is a dog at a friend's house (and she's about as big as a medium sized dog, definitely a midget ewe). So who knows? You'll do what you can. Sigh! You want my bottle goat to keep her company???