Bottle Lamb Nostalgia

Mistral georgia 1
Georgia & Mistral

Mistral georgia 2


My three little friends are now bottle lambs in name only – since we're entering week two of the weaning phase. That doesn't stop them from mobbing me the moment I set foot in the barn, nudging and nosing around my legs, insistently bah-ing, pleading eyes, jumping up in protest when all I have to offer is a handful of hay. 

Garamond is taking it very well. He's caught on to the "no more milk" thing, and after quickly checking just to be sure there are no bottles up my sleeve, he ducks outside.  Georgia is more persistent, though she now seems resigned to accepting hugs and a nurturing chin scratch in lieu of a bottle. 

Mistral is breaking my heart. She doesn't let me out of her sight, following me up and down the aisle during chores, emphatically batting her head in frustration when I offer her hay. I confess, I'm maternally hard-wired and she's been my babe from the start. I struggle with the tough love bit, even when my head tells me it's the right thing to do. 

In fact, I've delegated the weaning time line to Holly, who has a very firm yet gentle way of doing what's best for the lambs without being a total pushover like me. At least that's what I thought until last night – when she fessed up to sneaking a few ounces of milk to Mistral every other day when the other lambs aren't looking ("just until we use up the milk!"). AND allowing Mistral out of the pen to follow her about during morning chores. Ha! Now I don't feel like such a marshmallow. And I love that Holly is babying Mistral just a little bit.  Just a little bit longer. . .

Over the weekend I've learned that the person who had originally wanted to adopt the three bottle lambs has had a change of plans, which means they'll be staying put for the time being. It's not a problem, especially since Holly and I have grown quite attached to them, though I am still open minded, if a really good match presents itself. Hey, it's just occurred to me,  they're likely to be here for our re-scheduled Sheep Shares Open House on June 27! 

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