Monday, 20 February 2012

Snuffling and counting

Now up to seventeen lambs. I smell of lamb milk and lamb poo as have been feeding one of the triplets. The mum has just about stayed connected with her lamb, but only just. She has this long suffering look on her face whenever the lamb approaches her, as if to say 'Oh if I must'. I know the feeling. I do not think she wants to be bothered with being a mum. She does not have the same enthusiasm for looking after youngsters in comparison to the other mums. Often she is away over the other side of the field, leaving them in a heap asleep. I know that the other mums do the same, but they do not go so far away. She did not even want to come into the Paddock this evening, avoidance being stamped all over her.

I would love to be a mum to the little lamb. She is a delight. Two round circles of white on her forehead, and a tuft of white between her ears with the rest of her being jet black. I call her Twoey. I want to keep her. Being bottle fed she will be a good adult to have around. And she is fluffy, which means that she should eventually grow a long Jacob coat which will be great for spinning. Her two siblings have pretty head markings as well. Actually most of the new lambs have individual white markings on their black coats. No white lambs at all, so the new lambs do look rather startling because there is no black colouring amongst the adults of the flock at all.

I have got another cold. Actually I think that it is the old cold resurecting itself. Was sent to bed this afternoon by Hubs because I was spluttering about so much. Me and that electric blanket have become really bonded.

Jean Pierre in today to carry on with the bathroom and ceiling. Danny off sick. Flu apparently. Bathroom had to have heating in it all over the weekend so has become the warmest place in the house. Had my first wash in it. No shower, no sink, so carried a bowl of water into it and used a plastic garden chair to sit it on. Also, and I forgot to mention this in my last post which was a huge oversight on my part, the porta pottie days are done with, because Jean Pierre managed to fix the toilet in place so it could be used, but carefully .... no romping about on the loo.....just a very gentle reverse back onto the seat. It is a joy. Now I did not mind using the porta potties for over three years, but when we got the loo in, albeit that it was temporarily fixed, it felt like a huge step forward. To have to take that step back to porta potties again....well I must admit that it was a tad on the difficult side. And may I own up and say that I tended to visit the woods rather than wrestle with those porta potties....

And the joyful experience of Tess Two, the soon to be Tamworth pig mum. Now in her own pen she is obviously enjoying having her own space, after having had to share her space with her sister who is bigger and, I think, bullied her. But yesterday...sun was shining so thought I would have a look to see if we have any new arrivals. No, not yet. But she was standing by the fence so I patted her head. She stood still, almost welcoming the touch. I carried along her back, rubbing gently, being sympathetic to her pregnancy, feeling empathic to her. She did not move a muscle. Instead she sort of did a slow collapse on to the ground, and I am sure that if I had got into her pen with her, that she would have welcomed the contact.

Many people I talk to think that we are mad having these animals when we are busy trying to make a home for ourselves and working at the same time. Well, yesterday we drove down to Tarbes to look for tiles for our new bathroom and found ourselves in amongst the busyness of a large shopping complex. Yuk. All I could think of was 'Get me home to my animals', which was a surprise. Back in the UK one of my hobbies was shopping. I seem to have left that hobby behind. Now I prefer to buy things from the Internet. I seem to have taken a massive step away from consumerism, that is what living on a small farm has done for me.

Anyway, Tess Two is still expecting, her udders are continuing to droop and her nipples are starting to look plump and juicy. Max is ticked off about not being able to get into her pen, and has taken to grinding his teeth to show his displeasure. Tess Three is still with him, but probably not for long....if  her sister is pregant then she should be sometime soon.

And I am resisting the urge to respond to Twoeys wails of upset because she has not got a mum to cuddle up to. After I have fed her I make myself walk away, leaving her with the rest of the flock. It is hard. Most times she finds her way back to her siblings, and I am hoping that within a couple of days she will become more confident and stop wailing so much. Those wails have a devasting effect on my heart strings. But it will do her no good to become a 'house' sheep. I have seen the long term effect of doing that, and in the end the sheep does not know to what species of animal life they belong to. Twoey likes Bools, and follows him. He cleans the milk spills from her and has a clean up round her botty. It would be very easy to give in to the charm of having the two of them bond, but it would be no good. She needs to be with her own kind. I must stay strong. Ear phones, I think, are going to needed to help me not give in and go give her a cuddle.

Snuffling my way back to bed now, .....and saying 'Bye for now'. Oohhh, but Twoey does smell lovely, and she is warm and sweet, ........


John Gray said...

great to hear about all the new "faces"
keep warm ( if you can) drink soup!!!!!!!!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

So sorry that you are not feeling well. I hope that you get over it quicker than Nigel did. Thankfully it is a bit warmer now. Problem is with the animals you cannot just take to your bed for a few days.
17 lambs is a lot, wow your ram have been busy. I am looking forward though to seeing the new piglet. Pigs have a certain charm :) Take care and keep warm. Diane

Jean said...

Oh Vera, I'll just get my coat and I'll be right over to cuddle that poor little lamb.

I had a tear in my eye just reading about it, I don't know how you stay so strong.

Congratulations on the installation of your new throne !!

Vera said...

John, thanks for the 'soup' idea.. will save me having to mess about cooking in my chaotic 'kitchen'!

Diane, Hope Nigel is feeling better, and you are right about having to keep going when one has animals to look after...definitely cannot be self indulgent!

Jean, do please 'get your coat on' and come and help! But I warn you -that lamb is absolutely gorgeous, especially when she decides to nuzzle my leg, or when she wags her tail in joyfulness because milk is flowing out of the teat!

Niall & Antoinette said...

Hope the pig couchement goes well. Take care and keep warm. Antoinette

Vera said...

Thanks Antoinette.....