Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sheep Mama

Little Stacy taking the bottle

Bummer lambs. A fact of life for any sheep farmer. What's a bummer lamb? It's one that no longer has a mom caring for it. Most of the time it is because the ewe rejected the lamb. Other times it's because the ewe is sick, injured, or has died. Most farmers  around here just kill the bummer or let nature take its course, letting it die. Some of us don't do that.......enter stage right......Sheep-Mama!

Yes, I'm once again a sheep-mama. The lamb this time is not one of my own, but from a local farmer. And man-o-man, it is sooooo cute! I just melt when seeing a day old lamb.

Meet Stacy, the lamb. A grade hair sheep, that means a mixed breed short fleeced sheep whose fleece has a lot of coarse short hairs mixed in. In my area, all the sheep are hair sheep. Stacy was just a few days old when I got her and she took to the bottle within 24 hours. Pretty fast. She's healthy, active, and cute as h....

Caring for a bummer can be fun, but also a dang nuisense. You're tied to a lamb for two months, feeding it three times a day. But if you stick it out, you're a very friendly sheep that is easy to handle for the rest of its life. I really prefer of flock of hand reared sheep! It's just a big time investment. And of course, about $100 worth of milk replacer. So it's not cheap to raise a bummer lamb, another reason why most farmers won't bother.


  1. this whole thing is very cool!!!
    are you looking for volunteers?
    i"ll be in hawaii starting early december, and would love to work with some sheep!!

  2. Hi Yotam! And here's an early "aloha, welcome to Hawaii". Little Stacy is 10 months old now and has long since given up the need for daily attention. In fact, all my bottle lambs are now weaned and out on pasture. Therefore there really isn't anything that needs to be done with the sheep. I only need to check them once a day, basically for my own satisfaction not their's. Not much "sheep work" to do right now.

    Eventually in a few years I'll be locating for volunteers and wwoofers, but not right now. I need to have things better organized with bathrooms, showers, kitchens, and basic housing first. I plan to finish my own home first before starting that project. But thanks for asking!