Leap Year Twins!

Posted on March 8th, 2012

Welcome to the big wide world

Wednesday the 29th February was a beautiful morning, the sun had the first spring warmth, and there in the field were 2 healthy looking twin lambs emerging. After the sad loss of Pancake, http://www.coombemill.com/blog/post/2012/02/23/A-lamb-in-my-kitchen!.aspx we were taking no chances with these two. Mum and twins were straight into Farmer Nick’s Stock trailer, angled purposefully into the morning sun. 

Twin lambs on a leap yearhelping lambs to feed from Farmer NickLamb

First Concerns

As the 1st hour ticked by and Mum didn’t appear to be feeding her new family we became a little concerned. Farmer Nick lent a helping hand, introducing Mum and twins to the basics needed in life!

The idea dawned and they were away to go, except it soon became apparent that Mum just didn’t have enough milk for her hungry pair. Out came the bottles again as the children and I gave a helping hand.

children helping with the lambsLamb Feeding

By day they played in the sun and by night we gated the trailer to keep them safe from any passing foxes and wet weather. I bravely announced them on facebook and twitter and they were soon named Leap (the girl)  and Year (the boy)

new born lambs in the fieldnew born lambs in the field

In real trouble

Then the alarm bells began to ring. On two consecutive mornings as Theo and I had ventured out early to check on them with a bottle we had found Leap with Mum in the trailer and Year hiding underneath, apparently having fallen through the bars. The first time I thought it was a mistake but on the second occasion the shivering Year was clearly in trouble and had most likely been pushed out by mother. I was now cursing my decision to announce their safe arrival to the world as we took him indoors. The poor little lamb had chronic diarrhea, and I spent a day cleaning him up like a baby in the utility, watching him reject the bottle out right, lose strength and generally display all the signs of giving up on life. 

Our now smitten children were desperate to save him and not lose another lamb. They wrapped him up with my heated welly warmer and a cover by the radiator. I stayed up to comfort him half the night after warning the children that he was unlikely to make it through to morning.

Fighting Spirit

poorly lamb

Theo was first to wake, running into our bedroom thrilled to announce that Year was still alive. I was surprised but still not hopeful on seeing the frail bundle in my kitchen. Theo on the other hand was convinced he was looking better. After the school run I cleaned up the pathetically weak little chap and forced a little milk into him. All day I did this, just a few sips every half hour. By the end of the day he really was beginning to pick up, drink a little and not lose it straight out the other end! We had turned a corner!

Step by step

Slowly he has moved from his small box in the kitchen, to the greenhouse during the day and progressive visits back to see Mum and sister in the field! Mum has now rejected him and won’t let him feed, but Leap seams happy to let him come close. It is so rewarding to watch them together again and know that we have most certainly saved his life. 

 lamb in the gardenevening cuddles from Jed for the lambLeap and Year reunited in the 'nursery' field

Year will need bottle feeding through the spring and summer, which I am sure will delight our visitors but to have him back with the other sheep too is the best of all worlds.

Bottle feeding our lamb

 

Happy Ending

Nick has even bought a new shelter for their specially fenced nursery field;  well he did need the stock trailer back. Turned out to be perfect timing as yesterday we had another new arrival; Mum and baby boy are doing really well with no intervention needed from us.

 

Nursery field shelter from Farmer Nick1st Lamb born in March Mother and lamb

I am linking this post to the blog hop “Reasons to be cheerful” see what has made others cheerful this week”

Reasons to be Cheerful at Mummy from the Heart