We have welcomed a homestead newbie to our pastures this week. Oliver is a Texel sheep, meat breed, a one week old bottle baby. He is the first sheep in our homesteading adventure. We are all learning lots from him, most of all how luxuriously soft and snuggly baby sheep really are.
Oliver is amazing.
Teaching Oliver to take a bottle.
All was well for the first couple of days, then yesterday, Oliver got sick. When I went out to get him for his early morning feeding, he had a very thick yellow/green mucous discharge coming out of his nose. So naturally, I did what any homesteader would do. I brought him in the house. Oliver spent the day with me in the kitchen.
I got baking done between bottle feedings, and he got to nap where it was warm and dry while his antibiotics were kicking in.
Please excuse the early morning crazy….just keeping it real for you folks. Just. Keepin’. It. Real.
I am glad to report that he was jumping the bucket barricade that I had put up to keep him contained by supper time, so back out to his pen he went. I was very relived that he was getting a little spunk back.
Babies of all kinds can be a little touchy, sheep included. Each require special care, and even then stuff happens. It is very stressful for them to leave their herd, their families, and move to a new home.
He is a very healthy lamb, but big changes like that are hard on little guys. He is learning to use the bottle well, and his appetite is improving now that he is feeling better. He is beginning to adjust to being the newbie on the homestead.
A few things we have learned through this experience so far are:
- Never hesitate to call the farmer you got your animal from. They are more than happy to help, or should be. Our farm family that we adopted Oliver from was extremely helpful, came right over with medicine, and to check on him. It was a great opportunity for the three young girls who were previously in charge of Oliver’s care, to check in on him, and see his new home. They were so loving, and happy to see that Oliver was a very spoiled little lamb who got to hang out in the kitchen with his new family!
- Have a newbie first aid kit on hand should any, and I mean ANY need arise. Most emergencies are unexpected after all.
- Have a plan as to how you will care for your newbie before you bring it home. * A quick note: This makes it sound as if we were not prepared, we were, or so I thought…we planned for our bottle lamb, but realized in doing so that many do not. Bringing home a new baby to your homestead is nothing to take lightly. It is a commitment that requires a lot of thought and planning, and even then, when you have planned, be prepared to change that plan. Babies are unpredictable.
I hear Oliver calling….time to feed the homestead newbie!
Shared with our neighbors at The Barn Hop