Friday, March 23, 2012

Bottle babies

photo by Amber Walker

Bottle babies can be a real pain. When you bend over to feed lamb a, lamb b butts your nose, bringing tears to your eyes. They suck your fingers in a vain attempt to get milk while waiting for their turn at the bottle. They tangle with your feet when you walk through the barnyard. They baa incessantly in your ear while you feed their siblings.

Bottle babies happen for lots of reasons. Bucklet’s mother didn’t have any milk. Christmas’ mother died. 63’s mother was too ditsy to stand still for a lamb with sore joints to keep up with her. Sometimes ewes with triplets don’t have enough milk for three babies and we bottle feed the weakest one. Sometimes lambs have sharp teeth or a painful suck and their moms keep trying to get away.

Bottle babies can be a real pain. But they make you laugh on gray days. They continue to recognize you and approach unafraid, no matter how old they are. They wrap themselves around your heart. They make you cry when they die. Bottle babies can be a real pain, and yet they always add to the joy of lambing.

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