Animals, Farming, Nature, Pets and Livestock, Rural Living

Guilty Pleasures

They’re so funny.  And, in many ways, so very human.

This is Oleg.  He’s tiny for his age (about six weeks), and his “sister” (Tatiana) who’s only a couple of days older, is almost twice his size.  I only named them this morning, upon the increasing certainty that the little fermentation vats that comprise their multi-compartmented tummies have got themselves sorted out and on the boil, and are working properly.

Saying anything more about that would be TMI, other than that orphaned or rejected lambs which are bottle-fed and which start out with only a little, or none at all, of their mother’s natural first milk or colostrum, are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to developing the proper digestive enzymes and processes to support their ruminant systems.  (Brief digression: That’s got me wondering if a high-born sheep should be referred to as “Your Ruminance?”  Must consult Debrett’s.)

Anyway, it’s a bit of a juggling act to get it right, and sometimes I don’t.  This year, I think I have.  Perhaps it’s the light diet of spring bulbs that’s done the trick . . . “a toothsome salad of fragrant clover hay mixed with fresh seasonal flowers; smothered with a remoulade of Spectinomycin,*** probiotics,  selenium paste, and B vitamins; and sprinkled with  . . .”  a girl could get carried away with this, I can see.  Better stop now before I go overboard (again).

At any rate, this morning, I thought I’d try a new approach with their bottles, of which they’re down to three feedings a day, so I got out two bottles at once, filled them up, put one in each hand, and tried to get them both going at the same time.  Oleg, who’s a bit…umm…wooly about certain things, seemed to figure this out, and latched right on.

But Tatiana was incensed.  She had absolutely no interest in the second bottle, which I was holding right in front of her nose.  All she could see was that her brother had a bottle, and, by gum, she wanted it for herself!

After several minutes of yelling (hers, not mine), pushing, and shoving, during which I became soaked with milk (at once point she was, literally, standing on top of him), I had to separate them, and feed them one-at-a-time, just to make sure the poor little fellow got his due.

I’m beginning to suspect that Tatiana must be a card-carrying little Socialist.

***Regarding Spectinomycin: Bless!  And, Crimenutely!  It was recommended to me by a veterinarian, because I can buy it (like Ivermectin) without prescription at Tractor Supply.  Works great for digestive upsets in sheep.  But for people, it’s a treatment for gonorrhea? WTF?  (As it were.) Well, I buy it by the pint, so those of my acquaintance who might need a dose (I suppose you know who you are), form a line to the right . . .

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