Rosie Comes Inside
This afternoon I couldn’t spot Rosie in the pasture and I spent an hour tromping through the hedgerows looking, only to find her curled up right next to the barn in a rock pile. Her color matches the sandstone of our foundation rocks exactly, so she was almost impossible to see. Unfortunately, she must have gotten separated from her mom sometime during the stormy morning and was chilled to unconsciousness.
I brought Rosie inside and put her near the fire for a few hours while the rain continued to fall outside and the temperature dropped. Every half hour or so I tried to bottle her, but her internal temperature was so low she couldn’t swallow. Lambs born in chilly weather often shiver, but that isn’t really a concern. The warning sign is if the tongue is cold. And Rosie’s was icy. So were her pretty little ears. But she eventually perked up and downed two small bottles of (un)frozen goat’s milk saved from last spring. The first one had a few drops of black coffee in it – my drug of choice can actually help revive a weak baby! I know it works for me on cold grey mornings. Once back on her feet, Rosie was pretty unstoppable in the house, so I took her back outside to find her mom and her flock.
Mama Ruby wouldn’t have anything to do with her. I put Rosie at her face and she sniffed her and walked away. I put Rosie at her udder and she kicked her. I think this explains why Rosie was chilled out there in the first place. They’ve been loosely attached since Rosie was born, in fact she was born outside of the pasture. A few days ago, four sheep got out of an unlocked gate and Ruby was one of them. Rosie was born in our front yard! She’s a bit of an explorer and was instantly quick to wander off, while Ruby wasn’t very anxious about finding her. Most new babies don’t wander and most moms will incessantly call for them to come back until they reconnect. Nevertheless, I’d seen them together in the pasture enough to know she was nursing.
We’ll never know what happened to separate them this morning. The weather has been pretty relentlessly lousy for baby animals. Damp and 40 is much worse than snowy and zero. Luckily for Rosie, though, Pink is a generous mom and this evening has been nursing her along with Sam and Sally. But I’m going out to check on everyone now and it may be that Rosie sleeps in here for the night.