Monday, 13 February 2017

Rejection is not nice......

So what do you do if one two day old lamb, one of twins,
toddles alongside a ewe just about to give birth.
That it is the middle of the night,
that the ewe takes herself off into a gated area of the sheep paddock,
an area which should be kept shut because a hay bale fell over the fence into it when Lester was trying to lift if off a pile of hay bales which a farmer had kindly delivered to us a while ago.  But he had a 'big boy's' tractor so could stack the bales two high, a task which was beyond our smaller tractor. Not to worry, Lester managed to roll the other ones down, but this one took a hike over the fence in the opposite direction to the others.
Not able to shift it from its position in the sheep pen, the gate was shut so the sheep would not reduce the hay bale to pieces, which is something they would have joyfully done within a few days.
We had big winds.
The gate was blown open, which we didn't notice, but the ewe did.
The little lamb must have mistook the ewe for his mum, so in his sleepy night time state must have followed her into the gated paddock.
The ewe had her lamb, and tucked him up beside the hay bale.
The other lamb must had tucked up beside it.
And so the next day arrived, with Lester noticing the ewe with the two little ones
But straight way saw that there was difference in size between the two,
picked up the bigger lamb and hurried it back to its proper mum.
But alack and alas, the night time sleep had been upon the mum sheep, and she had forgotten about having two lambs at foot, so she refused to give any mothering services to the little one, and she roughly head butted him away.
It is not nice to see little ones rejected in such a manner. Makes one want to shout out at the ewe, demanding that she do her duty. Of course she does not understand, because she speaks a different language to us.
So what to do.
Go and do something else in the hopes that a miracle happens and that she changes her mind, that's what we did. She didn't. A few hours later and he was curled up forlornly all by himself in the barn.

Lester to the rescue!
So the little lamb will now have to make his mind up whether he wants to carry on in life or give up life altogether.  His choice. All we can do is keep feeding him and hope that he gets through the night. We have not separated him from the flock though. We find that it is better to let orphaned lambs stay with their family of sheep rather than separating them away. They need to have the company of others, this is what we have learnt from experience.
Meanwhile, I have been tidying up the dehydrates cupboard in the front kitchen. Was most surprised to only have to throw out one bag of mouldy beans, everything else was staying perfectly preserved. Most times I use the dehydrated produce for soups, flavourings, and tea infusions.
But they do look pretty in glass jars on the shelves!
I made curtains for the doors of this old cupboard I bought last year.

This is our dry goods cupboard. We have just gone shopping so it is full.
This will last us at least for a couple of weeks.
The dehydrates in the front kitchen, the canned jars of meat and vegetables in the back kitchen, and the three freezers full of meat and veg in the middle barn, all of these are feeding us, which is why the dry goods cupboard does not have a lot in!
It is good feeling to know that we have enough here to feed ourselves, despite not having any fresh veg growing out in the garden.
Off to see how the little lamb is doing,
so saying bye for now.


DUTA said...

That's a very moving story! The picture of Lester feeding the little "orphan" lamb is also moving.
The curtains you've made for your cupboard are very nice-looking. Enjoy!

Vintage Maison said...

Good luck with the lamb. We've had to do it several times, the last was with twins. So sad to see the ewes pushing them away but they seem to do better than on their own. Makes me SO cross with the mums!

Cro Magnon said...

I still have a lot of Kale, PSB, and Cavolo Nero (my favourite) growing out at Haddock's. The only reason I go out shopping is to get a change of scene.

Old School said...

What sort of sheep are those? I thought at first Jacobs, but they have too few (and too normal) horns. I love all the colors. Poor little lamb. We tend to bring the orphans inside, and they grow up too familiar with people, and not enough with sheep!

And your kitchen is gorgeous, and worthy of that magnificent stove. Wow. And beautiful cupboard! You two do nice work.

I always find it funny to read "different to" when we say "different from" in the US.

local alien said...

Best of luck to the little lamb. He must be feeling rather for lonely.
Great store cupboard!

Vera said...

DUTA, I was pleased with the curtains too, although they don't show up very clearly in the photo.

VINTAGE MAISON, ...I am so glad that you feel the same away about the ewes who push their lambs away....makes me feel not quite so guilty about wanting to shout at them!

CRO MAGNON, we did not plant any winter veg last year for a variety of reasons, but that will change next winter, thank goodness. We do not like shopping either, but use it also as a change of scene for an hour or so!

OLD SCHOOL, the sheep are Jacobs, just of the French strain! Some of the sheep do have horns, and most of the lambs this year are growing horns already. None of our adult ewes have horns though, although some did last year but they are now in the freezer. As for bringing youngsters indoors..... in the past we have done that but they became too attached to us and our world, which is not good for them, so we have to harden our hearts and keep them with the flock. It is hard though! Those lambs are so damn cute!

LOCAL ALIEN, it is hard to see a little lamb standing in the middle of the field yelling for a mum that does not want to know him. It really does pull at the heart strings.
As for the store cupboard...... I love these old cupboards and prefer to have them in the house rather than buy new ones. So a favourite hobby of mine is to browse round the second hand shops (brocantes they are called here in France)!....

northsider dave said...

Great kitchen furniture. I agree with you Vera that old furniture is much nicer and stronger than the modern stuff. Do you have many car boot sales, flea markets, second hand furniture shops near you?

Mama Pea said...

This situation you describe must be where the expression "poor little lamb" came from. Can he go back to being with the ewe that gave birth and her little one during the night? Hope so.

Vera said...

NORTHSIDER DAVE, in the summer we have Vide Greniers, which are car boot sales, and most villages will have one or two during the season. As for Brocantes, there are a few about...just far enough away to make it inconvenient for me to keep visiting, which is a good thing! I won't have new furniture in the house, because it would be out of keeping with the wooden ceilings and tiled floors, and, as you say, is much stronger.

MAMA PEA, miracles do happen, and that is what he did the following night! Blog to follow!