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

The May Muster.

Well here we are again at the start of a new month. We have woken up to snow this morning. Hello June and hello Winter!

The biggest thing this month was B1’s 21st birthday. It was a great night surrounded by family and friends. I am happy that B1 enjoyed herself and now I just have to finish the birthday album….

The second dry stone wall is complete. Mr D has been filling it with soil in preparation for the Spring planting, which at the rate this year is going, will be here shortly. I have a separate post, mostly written by Mr D, about the science of dry stone walling on it’s way this week.

Mr D and I managed an excursion to the Michelago Mayfair. Michelago is about 30 minutes north of us. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great day to be outside! Probably the only down side was the wasps. They were everywhere and I ended up throwing a plate of food in the garbage as I was afraid I would eat one (wasp) accidentally. I did get to enjoy my Devonshire coffee without incident.

The vegetable garden is now RIP. Apart from the couple of pumpkins still on the vine and some potatoes which need to be dug up, the rest has all died back.

I am pleased to report that our chooks have started to lay again. Thank goodness! Fancy having to buy eggs when you have 16 chickens of laying age. The newest ones are still separated from the big girls as the hen house was in need of renovation. Mr D has been working on the new wings. They need to be painted however it’s turned a tad cold with several -9 degrees celsius in the last two weeks.

We have a new addition to the menagerie. Shanks (or Tom Shanks as Mr D likes to call him) is a two week old lamb and unfortunately was orphaned in the last couple of days when his Mother died suddenly. It is like having a newborn in the house again. He demands my constant attention. As I write this, he is sitting in the sun grinding his teeth baaing every now and then just to remind me he is there. Luckily we have crappy carpet that is going shortly because he pees all of the time. It’s too cold to have him outside until he gets a bit older.

Apart from the cooking for the party, which I had a lot of help with, I cooked an apple pie from SCRATCH! Pastry and all. We have had that many apples, red and green. It was delicious and you can find the recipe here Apple Pie.

I have had a bit of work on with the March BAS quarter looming deadline which was last Tuesday.

Mr D is now officially redundant from Icon Water (ACTEW). The process started in March and it has been awful to say the least. He is just waiting for the finish date. More about this another day.

I think that’s all for now! How was your May?

Mrs D x