- Beth Tharp
Lamb in the House to Ring in the New Year
From our family to yours, Happy New Year! As we reflect on this past year it is easy to be discouraged; our world has undergone tremendous changes. As we continue into the future, our family will choose to seek gratitude in all that we have, for the small and large. As I reflect this morning, we have a bundle of life beneath our wood stove that we are grateful for.
You may have observed on our Facebook page that we are in the middle of our winter lambing season. We manage our ewes to alternate lambing three times per year. This winter lambing season can be the most challenging due to the cold temperatures. Our ewes that will lamb are kept in our barn, bedded down with straw out of the wind and precipitation. Unlike our momma sows who have piglets in heated 73 degree rooms this time of year, our ewes and lambs do not have supplemental heat. Unfortunately if a lamb is born weak, the cold temperatures do not help.
So happened with one of our sets of twins, one ewe lamb was weak at birth. She was slow to get up, but did nurse and get needed colostrum. However overnight she became weaker. Before dawn yesterday morning we had given her supplemental colostrum and moved her into a clothes basket at the base of our fireplace in our living room.
Our children are always eager to bring lambs inside. She received much attention, was made a blanket out of a dishtowel, and even was serenaded with 'Silent Night'. Last night I still wasn't too optimistic that she would make it. I reiterated the realities of life to our kids, but praised them for giving it their all to care for this lamb. It was a good opportunity to review our family's core value of stewardship, doing our best to care for what we have.
Our oldest child's internal alarm went off at 4:00 am this morning, and she came straight to my bedside to wake me up. Drowsily I helped her fix the lamb's bottle. But as I watched this lamb get up, eager to nurse, and our daughter continuing her passionate care for this little one, I was instantly grateful for this opportunity. It seems that the lesson of stewardship is taking hold in our home with the next generation. And it appears 'Snowflake' has a fighting chance, and we may have a pet bottle lamb!