Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Raising Dogie Lambs

What is a dogie? it is an animal who has lost its mother for one reason or another. In the case of sheep, Rambouillet Ewes usually have twins and in our dry desert southwest, they will forget they have two babies and leave one asleep at the feed bunkers or waters. I pick these babies up and try to raise them on the bottle.

Ewe milk is about twice as butter fat content as cows milk. So just feeding them a regular dairy suppliment milk is not an option, neither is giving them regular powdered milk. They have to have a special formulated milk.

Another problem with raising lambs on a bottle is that sheep are born with the notion that they will die and when they do there is nothing that a shepard can do to prevent it.

I have a little tightly enclosed pen out by the bunkhouse with one of those large dog igloo dog houses in it. I put trash wool in the bottom and change it out about once a week. The other day the gent who lives in the bunkhouse decided that the bottom needed to be off the dog igloo. He cleaned the thing out and instead of putting more wool in it and putting the top back on, he just sat the top half on the ground.

This morning the three babies we had in there were frozen!! It got much too cold last night for them to survive that way. It is fine not to have the bedding and bottom on the dog igloo in May!! But in March we are still likely to have zero degrees nights.

I am so aggravated this morning because we had those babies going very well until he decided he knew best how to shepard them. Sometimes it seems to me that the men on and around this ranch have absolutely no common sense.

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