The Raising of the Baa- Beginnings

We have a new addition to the menagerie. Meet Shanks.

B1 found him on Cooma buy and sell. He is a Damara/ Dorper cross lamb who was left orphaned at two weeks of age when his Mother suddenly died. Because of his age, he needs to be bottle fed and we are keeping him inside at the moment due to our cold overnight temperatures. Let the games begin!!

Probably one thing I didn’t plan was the bond that would form between the two of us (completely food related). I cannot be out of his sight for a second before the loud baaing begins. I mean loud! I tried to put him the laundry the first night. That lasted five minutes because of the noise and jumping on the walls to get my attention. So I ended up on the lounge for the night with him on the floor next to me. He now sleeps most of the night without stirring and yes I am still on the lounge…

Getting things done during the day is proving to be my biggest challenge. Shanks is always somewhere close by. I’m surprised I haven’t face planted considering the number of times I have nearly tripped over him. This morning I was trying to get the dinner into the slow cooker before I walked the dogs. I was madly chopping away, moving between the bench and the stove being aware that I had a lamb at my feet and I hadn’t realised that he had piddled an ocean and that I had walked most of it through the kitchen. Thanks Shanks!

Going to the toilet and having a shower is something I don’t do on my own at the moment. The second day I didn’t have a shower (very unusual for me) because the logistics of it just seemed too complicated for my sleep deprived brain.

In an effort to wear him out, he comes with me when I walk the dogs. I didn’t carry my water bottle the first day as I fully expected to have to carry him back up the hill. He made it although I didn’t succeed with wearing him out. Success today though. Shanks is passed out under the dining room table while I eat my lunch and write this post. We are off to dig up the garden shortly while the sun is shining.

Because Shanks is really an outside animal, he wees and poos whenever and wherever he pleases. Not much poo due to the milk diet however so many wees. We have stocked up on paper towel to cope. Shanks, however, has developed a little party trick. When I put the paper towel down to soak up the worst of it, before I’ve had a chance to finish the clean up, he has dragged the paper away (along with the mess) so that he can nibble on it!

Feeding him is hilarious. Once he realises that he’s getting a bottle, he behaves like a lamb possessed. He starts nudging my legs and nuzzling into the back of my knees. Trying to get the bottle in his mouth is a trial because although he knows what to do, he is beyond excited. Once attached to that teat he gorges himself, milk foaming at the edges of his mouth, (200 ml in under 10 minutes) while his little tail wags like crazy.

I’m sure he grows overnight. He weighed in today (2nd June) at 4.9 kgs.

I am looking forward to him moving outside so that things return to normal. Mr D will work on an appropriate shelter on the weekend.

Cute as Shanks is, now is a good time to remind you (and me) that his destiny in life is food for the table. He will have a great life until that day comes. I will keep you posted on his progress.

Mrs D x

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