Rosie wrote recently about her life on the farm, and said that there are times when she finds it difficult to live so far from friends. That is not the only challenge that life on a farm brings for children and teenagers.
Yesterday was exciting on the farm.
Four lambs were born very early in the morning and it was amazing to see how quickly they got on their feet then followed their mothers around.
Once the sheep have had their lambs and they are checked over by my Dad, we give them food and water plus some of the best hay from last year. Then we tend to leave them to get to know their lambs and we watch from the field gate.
Yesterday afternoon, we went to see how the lambs were. Dad went to fill the hay feeder with more hay and he found a little lamb which we had not seen. It had been abandoned by it’s mother; perhaps because it was one of triplets. It was very tiny and very cold.
Dad took the lamb home and Mum wrapped it in a wool blanket and put it in front on the range with the door open. The kitchen was lovely and warm.
The lamb was very sleepy and Dad said it had hypothermia. It has been very cold here and we even had hailstones so it has been difficult for young lambs to survive.
We moved the lamb through to the living room and Dad built a huge fire and switched on a radiator. I put the lamb in front of the fire and it began to waken up a little bit.
Mum had a bottle of colostrum – the rich, first milk which helps build up immunity to germs as well as getting food into the lamb’s stomach.
It took hours to feed as the lamb would not suck. we took turns to dribble small amounts of milk into the lamb’s mouth but it finally had a full tum and it fell asleep.
A couple of hours later, the lamb seemed very alert, it bleated and tried to stand up. We were so pleased as it seemed to be getting stronger.
Then it began to have convulsions and went very floppy. It would not take any milk and it’s eyes were strange.
The little lamb died in my arms at about 2am and I cried a lot.
Sometimes it is so sad when you try your best to make a sick animal better but it dies. Dad thought that the mother sheep may have known that the little lamb was sickly and she saved her milk for the stronger lambs.
It is still hard when you have loved something even although it only lived a short while. I know that I tried my absolute best with the little lamb and that is all I could do.
There is a lot of new life on a farm but sometimes animals do not survive. Sometimes the vet comes to put sick animals to sleep. I feel so sad when that happens but in a way, without sounding horrible, you get a bit used to it and come to terms with the loss a little bit easier. It is not nice but I don’t cry nearly so much like I did when my guinea pig died. He was 6 1/2 and very old.
We have to get a special lorry to take our fallen livestock away – even little lambs. It is not good to leave them lying so Dad phones for the fallen livestock lorry straight away. We always disinfect and wash the area where the animal died plus we disinfect any equipment which was used.
Sometimes we don’t know why an animal has died and dad says we must be careful to wash our hands and keep away from the area.
We still have the four new lambs who all need new names. Mum likes them to be named alphabetically each year so we had Bonnie, Bramble and Belle first, Connie, Colin and Clara last year.
We wonder if you have any ideas for ‘D’ names?
Can you help Rosie and her family name their lambs? They are still not sure if they are boy lambs or girl lambs – it can be quite tricky trying to catch the lambs to find out. They are fast little movers! Leave a comment to give us your suggestions.Don’t forget to <like> this article by clicking on the little <3 to let Rosie know that you enjoyed reading it.