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Thursday, February 25 2016

"Normal people don't live like this!" Other Half growled as he wiped amniotic fluid off the top of his head.

I continued to scrub amniotic goo off the top of his house shoe as he propped it on the hay wagon. Living in a barn has its advantages. Lambing in your house shoes is one of them. Checking on pregnant ewes is as simple as walking across the barn aisle, so it was no surprise when Other Half barged into the bedroom at 2 am last night and announced that Flower Pot was finally in labor.

This ewe has been holding on to her babies. Each time I've been convinced she was going into labor, an hour later she has smiled at me, while chewing her cud, and said, "Sorry, false alarm. Just gas."

But last night was it. I'd been watching her carefully because last year was her first lambing and she lost a twin. She had apparently become so enamored with Baby #1 that when Baby #2 came along, she failed to get the sack off its nose and it smothered while she was doting on Baby #1. I kicked myself for not checking her that night.

She did not repeat the same mistake. This year she is older and wiser and doing a fine job. Flower Pot popped out a little girl while we were still getting dressed. We've had a month to put doors on these stalls so lambs can't wander out into the runs behind the stalls. We've known Flower Pot was about to pop for two weeks. Have we put a door on that stall?  No. At 2 am we were cutting up cattle panels for a makeshift door. Such is life. It got done. Just like Flower Pot, we take procrastination to a whole new level. But hey, the babies are here and the door is up so all is well.

The little girl was up and going like a champ. This kid was with the program.

Her brother? Not so much. As his mother was pushing him out, the wind changed outside and a cold front blew in. A really cold front. Little Brother was wet and was not happy about being pushed out of his nice warm bed to land in this Cold New World. He didn't want to nurse. He wanted to curl up and shiver while his mom licked him. Fearing he was putting too many calories into shivering, we hefted out a hairdryer. Because well, you know, we live in a barn, so the bathroom isn't far away. I named him Cold Front.

A few minutes later he was dry and thinking about nursing. At 4 am he had nursed, so we opted to head for bed. At 7:30 am I found him shivering in the middle of the stall again. Sigh. So I went back into the house across the hallway, and dug out a knit cap. A few snips here and there, and Cold Front was modeling the latest in Carhartt fashion. His mother approved.

Apparently the fashionistas in the audience approved too.

I guess Other Half is right, normal people don't live this way. But that's not always a bad thing. Normal people are missing out on a lot. I mean, really, who wants to be normal when you can have a lamb wearing a Carhartt hat?


Posted by: forensicfarmgirl AT 08:31 am   |  Permalink   |  10 Comments  |  Email
Seems TOTALLY normal to me. ;-)
Posted by Libbye on 02/25/2016 - 09:39 AM
Define normal...
Posted by Virginia on 02/25/2016 - 10:10 AM
Normal is what you deal with daily. Abnormal is what other people deal with daily. It's all in the perspective.
Posted by Beth on 02/25/2016 - 11:22 AM
Seems normal to me. We just had a front with crazy high winds move through that had me outside at 4am making sure the goat kids were actually warm enough & didn't need to sleep inside. But I prepared a spot for them anyway, just in case.
Posted by Anna on 02/25/2016 - 12:10 PM
We had a cold front when one of my goats decided to go into labor 8 days early, so we ended up with goats in the shower for a few days. Why be normal? Life is so much fun.
Posted by Patty on 02/25/2016 - 04:02 PM
Thanks ladies I used to wonder if I was normal at 3am chasing my first Pyr in gummies (gum boots) and lolly pink dressing gown up the dirt rd.. A few rounds of this as her tail dysssssssssapyred in the mist I stopped and learned about electric. Thanks for all yr. stores and normal life :)
Posted by Liz (Vic Aust) on 02/27/2016 - 05:06 PM
My husband's dream is to live in a big utility building! And after a few years of trudging 200 feet to the barn (uphill about 10 feet) in all kinds of weather I am beginning to see the attraction.
Posted by Erika on 02/28/2016 - 08:17 AM
Erika, that's what we're living in! It's a big metal barn with stalls on one side and a house on the other side. Very convenient.
Posted by forensicfarmgirl on 02/29/2016 - 11:00 AM
Normal is a setting on a washing machine. If this isn't what normal folks do around you then I think you just need to choose your friends more carefully. You know what? In another 30+ plus years he won't know any other way to live.
Posted by Terry on 03/06/2016 - 11:42 PM
I LOVE these stories... And all the babies. A kid in a cap! Seems all kinda normal to me :)
Posted by Robin on 03/12/2016 - 03:55 AM

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