Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning Adventures

I'm not sure if we have mentioned it, but the grey horse loves babies - of any sort.  She and the puppy have had quite a time because she keeps wanting to sniff him, and since her nose is as big as his head, he finds that a bit frightening.  So, this morning when I looked out and noticed that she was craning her neck to try and get her nose over the barrier between them and the sheep, I suspected we might have babies.  When I went in to the sheep area, though, I didn't immediately see or hear any babies, so I decided the horse was just being a knuckle-head.  Then, the sheep shifted, and there were two of the cutest little tri-colored lambs standing next to their mama.  I did a quick gender check, and they are girls.  These are the cutest ewe lambs we've had yet, and I'm looking forward to adding their coloring to the herd.

Mama and her babies

All is well until I hear a crash behind me, and the horses are suddenly there in with the sheep.  Meeka (the aforementioned grey) had pushed down the board I had wired up to keep the horses out of the sheep area this summer.  The floor is just not stable enough for them.  But, she really really wanted to see those babies.  So, now I had 22 sheep of various sizes, 2 newborn babies, 2 full grown horses, and Zeke (the border collie puppy) all in this tiny little area.  Mama sheep is understandably upset.  The babies are just trying to stay near mama.  Zeke is trying to stay out of everyone's way, and the horses just want to get to those babies.

I pick up Zeke and put him up in the upper part of the barn to get him out the way, dash back outside to holler at Sarah to call Grandma to take her and her cousin to school, because I'm not going to make it now.  Sarah of course wants to know why, so I tell her, "I've got baby lambs and the horses just broke into the barn to come greet them!"  Luckily, she understands exactly what this means, and dashes back in to call for a ride to school.  I return to the barn to try and sort everyone out.  After a little looking and thinking, I get some grain and lure the horses out.  They'll do just about anything for their morning grain, even leave babies.  Of course, I also got three of the summer lambs (mostly weaned but only half-grown) with them.  They don't want to go back in, so I leave them out with the horses for the time being and go back in to feed the sheep.  Then, I go to the other side of the barn to give the horses their hay out in the lot.  It all sounds kind of complicated - mostly because it is.  But it's doable, and the babies will have a chance to get fast enough to be able to avoid the horses. 

45 minutes later, I finally have all the sheep where they need to be and fed, the horses fed, the appropriate gates opened and closed, and can head to town to meet Steve when he drops off the PT Cruiser to get the damage from the suicidal deer of a few weeks ago repaired.  We then spent most of the day getting my grandmother's new television purchased and set up for her.  Her old one had died of old age after a long a distinguished life of service.  When we finally got home, we snuggled the lambs a bit and took some photos.

Sarah snuggling one of the lambs.  It is impossible to not smile when holding a less-than-one-day old lamb.