Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Feeding Time

Flurry is only about a month old. So we will need to bottle feed her for the next month until she is of weaning age and is fully able to digest hay, grains, and fresh grass. For the first two or three days we had to convince her the bottle was good for her - and boy did she learn quickly!

Her friend Slipper, a couple of weeks older than she, not so much. She still has no interest in the bottle. But, unlike Flurry, Slipper is content to eat the alfalfa pellets, fresh grass, and hay we set out for her.

Now when Patt enters her stall in the morning and when Boyd enters at night when he gets home, Flurry hops up and expectantly waits for the bottle - which is an empty coke bottle with a lamb nipple stretched over the top.

Tonight, without hesitation, without taking a breath, Flurry slurped down the whole bottle without stopping, collapsing the bottle in Boyd's hands.

Another interesting development is that we saw Flurry chewing her cud this evening. This is a tell-tale sign that her four stomachs have the right balance and is starting to digest fresh grass, grain, and hay. The chewing of the cud is the way sheep, goats, cows, re-chew already chewed food. This assists them in digesting what they eat and means they are happy and healthy.

Since Flurry is most likely going to be the ewe that starts our herd, we hope to grow her big and strong by keeping her in milk for much longer than is necessary to get them to weaning age. This will help her grow more quickly and will make her friendlier towards us. Over the next few weeks we will spend much more time with her, just sitting in the stall, letting her get used to us. Eventually we will be able to lead her around the farm.

Once weaned from the bottle and fully on pasture, she will be either tied out to a different spot in the pasture or let loose in one of our three paddocks.
 Boyd and Flurry at the evening feed.

Not only will she be the mother of our meat for the next 10 years or so (God willing), she will also be our friend, and our lawn mower!

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