Driving along the main road every day it's difficult not to notice all the newborn lambs appearing in the fields. There are tons of farms around here and the girls and I have stopped loads of times to watch these tiny cute bundles feeding from their mamas. All of us at one point have said 'I want one'.
So, the Freecycle ad. I finally got hold of the lady and unfortunately they had all gone. She suggested I put my name in the local auction website or local farming something. To be honest, I'm not really sure where I put my name or what the ad said, but the very next day I got a text from a farm nearby asking, "are you still looking for motherless lambs". YES! was the resounding reply. Followed by ten minutes excitedly screaming round the house with the girls after showing them the text, before they had to go to school!!!
I managed to drag the big dog cage into the woodshed. I had procured it off Freecycle last year with a view to using it somehow with the chickens we were supposed to get. It has lain unused in the kids play area the whole time and really only used by them to pretend to be animals! I felt bad that it was being wasted so I was pleased to finally have a proper use for it.
Millie and I went to playgroup then left early to pick up the lambs using a box in the boot!
The lovely lady at the farm could tell I had no idea what I was doing and I think she thought I was a bit loony!! I joked that I was going to breastfeed them which she found most amusing!! Her husband had a very dry sense of humour and a thick accent and I could not understand half of what he was saying to me!! I came away with instructions to feed 4times a day and very little other information. I am learning 'on the hoof'
Anyway, there we were with two very small lambs in our boot and off we went to the farm shop to get our supplies. Milk replacer and two teets. That was it! She said they would fit on any bottle, so we dropped in at tesco on the way home and bought a pack of small water bottles. They didn't fit. Luckily hubby already had large fizzy water bottles and they fit on there, but they were cumbersome. I later bought baby bottles which worked much more easily.
By Saturday I had found my groove on the feeding front and we decided it wasn't fair that Ellie and Maia had named and 'taken' the lambs as theirs and that Millie didn't have one so we took a trip back to the farm to pick up another one. My eye was caught by a really cute tiny looking one and the farmer said if we took the bigger one he'd throw the small one in for free and suggested we name her runt!!
So here we are with 4 lambs. I never imagined I'd be making formula and feeding using bottles!! It's such a weird feeling doing it when I know all these poor babies want and need is a mother to feed from. It's hard knowing we have broken their continuum even if it means we've saved their lives. They are so vulnerable and lost looking and in fact they follow me around like little lost sheep!!
We've decided this is a great opportunity to start our farming life even if we don't have our farm yet!! Lambing season is nearly over so we had to move fast. The quote 'build it and they will come' comes to mind. I've already sorted out mousers and a house cat too!!!
Losing the plot - I think I have lost it
Meltdowns - each child at least once a day
Breastfeeeding- 4 at a time is maybe a bit much 😉