Katahdin lamb 1 day old, baby sheep

The Rescue Lamb All Grown Up

Rescue Lamb All Grown Up

Two days ago marked a one year anniversary of a very special day  on our farm. One year ago today, we woke up to our Anatolian shepherd, Commando curled up around something white in our front yard. He about gave us a heart attack. For a few minutes, we thought one of our does had kidded prematurely and the dog had brought a goat kid to our front yard to draw attention to this fact. The dogs have alerted us before when does unexpectedly kidded on the farm.

We picked the little floppy creature up and brought it inside. The poor thing was wet, and cold. We set it up in towels in front of the wood stove and I worked on rubbing it dry while my mother prepared a bottle of colostrum for the little creature. While Mom and I worked on our little one, Dad checked on our does. There were none who had recently kidded. Ok then! Where had our little half pint come from?

Right about that point, we noticed something that we felt pretty silly about. The baby had a long tail. Our baby was a lamb, not a kid after all. This was a mystery. We had sold our last sheep a year before. So, where did our dogs come up with this guy?

Turns Out He Was a Katahdin Sheep

Bucky the lamb - a rescue lamb all grown up
Bucky, now a grown Katahdin sheep, with his own little flock

Well, it turned out that one of the neighboring farms had some katahdin sheep. Their owner thought that one of his ewes must have lambed for the first time and not known what to do with her lamb. Commando had seen that the baby was abandoned in the cold rain and after he made certain that the lamb’s mother didn’t want it, he brought it to his people. After all, they like baby things like this lamb and could help it. Poor Bucky as we named him had a very rough start in life. His mother didn’t want him. He was hungry and out in the freezing rain. Then along comes a big meat eater, scoops him up and carries him off to another farm. Thanks to the rain, he developed pneumonia. Between being a bottle baby and being on penicillin, the shepherd didn’t want to try to raise him. So, he stayed with us.

Since Bucky is a ram, we either needed to castrate and eat him, or we needed to get back into sheep. Just about 3 months after Bucky’s arrival, we bought two little ewe lambs to give him his own flock. Now, Bucky is a full grown ram, and his first batch of babies should be arriving any day. I’ll post for sure when they do!

Our two Katahdin ewes
One very pregnant Katahdin ewe.

We’ve found that we really like Katahdin sheep because the meat is good, but the care isn’t as high as it is with wool sheep. The Katahdin is a nice gentle breed to keep around.

Until next time,

Homestead in health ya’ll!

Emily

 

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