For the Love of Babies

The twins are doing well here on the farm after a week in our care. I think I can see that they've grown some, and I'm bummed that I didn't get a base-line weight on them when they first arrived. I do like the objectivity of a scale to check our progress.

I've learned a lot about what works for each lamb when it comes to bottle feeding. Itzhak is a chewer - he hasn't really got the "sucking" thing down at all. He has destroyed one rubber nipple so far and has started on a second. Mary Elizabeth, on the other hand, could pull the chrome off a door handle. She has demolished a nipple, too, but from her own particular angle. And that's fine if I have a feeding helper, with each person concentrating on the eating style of her own lamb. But when I get to do the job myself and I have two different eaters on the ends of two different Gerber bottles simultaneously, it's quite entertaining. We all finish up with a certain amount of milk replacer on our persons.

The ritual of mixing up the milk replacer powder has taken up a good part of the day. It's not that it takes that long. It's just that it has to happen four times a day. The books say that at this age they should be eating more volume with less frequency. But dang it, they haven't read the book. They don't seem able to hold any more, and they cry pitifully if I push them much beyond 5-6 hours between meals. They do, mercifully, allow me to sleep through the night.

Any advice you may have to offer at this point would be gratefully accepted!

I also got concerned that they weren't getting enough lamby exercise, so I bought two dog harnesses and now Em and I can take them for little outings in the yard. Boy, do they love to run! If we turned them loose, I'm afraid they wouldn't stop until they hit Oklahoma. My tentative plan is to turn them in with Shadrach once they get big enough to fend for themselves. Then they can run and boink with him in the pasture.

I'd love to write more, but it's time for the babies' nightcap. 'Night!


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