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Lambing Time

Lambing Time image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

There is no periód of tho year when tlio timo and vigilanoo of tho fiockmastor nood to be so thoroughly centerod opon tho flook as duriog the larnbing season ; not only bocause the item of iucreasc figures so largely on tho credit sido of tho shcphcrd's ledger, but also becauso tho tbrift and even Hfe of tho mothers depends largoly upon careful feeding and thoughtful forosight in sheltering from wet and eold, during thia critical period. In any locality orth of 38, good shelters should always bo provided, and kept littered witb straw or leaves, and have plenty of grain and wator within easy reacb. It inay not always be neoossary to resort to tbeso shelters ; but tho suddon and extreme changos to which our climato is 6ubjoct, especially in the Spring, places s-ich appliances among tho indispensables of a well-regulatod stock farm. These shelters should be built snug and close, thongh with windows fot light, and also for vcntiltttion when necessary. The ewes, about to yean, during the day, in fino weather, should not be conflned to any sholtor, but bo left froe to inovo in or out at their pleasure, though under tho eyo of tbo shepherd. It will be found safest to' confino thtíin during the night, as most nights before the first of May are too oool for the new-bom lamba. Very few owes require assistance from the shepherd whilo lambing. His presence is moro necessary to assist tho new corner into life than the mother. If after a reasonable time, and after having been lielted dry by tho dam, the lamb does not get upon his feet, the ghepherd may reasonably infor that something is wrong, and proceed to ita assistanco. Occasionally íambs drop that aro too woak to get upon their feet without assistance. In suoh cases, they should be taken in the hands and held up to the mother to suck, after which they will gather etrength very rapiilly, unless there is aomo nafur;il imperfoetton. Sometimes witli young ewes, ono will be found without milk enough for the nourishmont of tha lamb. To meet such caBes the shepherd should go provided with a bottle of cow's milk- thfi fresher the cow and the nower the milk, the better - so that tho lamb can have nourishment when most needed. In most cases tho ewo will have a supply in a day or two, if not sooner, though occaionally it will be necessary to fiad a foster mother, or bring tho lamb up by hand. Whero milk cra bo had in abundance, tbis latter can be done -without much trouble, as lambs can readily be learned to drink and will begin to oat at an early age. An ewe that has lost her lamb, if the lamb was young, can be made to adopt another, by shutting her into a close, dark pen for a short titae - RAy from five to 1'orty-eigb.t hotirs. During this time she will nced to be visited occasionaljy by the shepherd, and bo held still while the lamb sucks. Tliero is a S'iying among old shepherds to the of&ct that "a Ittjub onc( upon its feet, and1 witb a belly full of milk, is half raised," and there is much trnth in the saying; for it 19 truo that though few arómala at birtb are more tender than a lamb, yet noue gain strength and vigor moro rapidly when by the proper conditions. When, from negleot or other cause, :i young lamb bccmes chilled so as to be unable to help itself, it shochl be put into a bath as hot as can bo borne, and so beid until circulación is restored, and after being wiped dry, should bo carefully wrapped and uurscd till fully restored. Sometimes a stimulant is administorcd, sueh as few drops of whisky in gome milk; but usually warm milk from the ewe directly into the laouth of the lamb, -will be equallyefficacious. The good of both mothor and lamb demands that tho üock bo allowod aoeess to green pasturage as soon as it can be had. The flow of milk is greatly increased, and tho young lamb soon begins to nibble tho tender blades, and thus partially eara its Where blue grriss pastures Ciinnot be had for such purpose, the prudent farmer will have his patch of Fall sown rye for early pasturago. If not wanttd for a erop, the rye can be turaed nader in time for planting corn, and the droppings from the sheep will be found to have more than compensated for the draft upon the soil. Don't try to raisc more lambs than you are flxed for rfiising well. Fed the mothers well after, and it will be foond that you have largely overeóme the tondency often noticed in highly brcd flocks to diruinish in size - for if lambs get a good "send off," they will in variablv maturo at an earlier aae, and


Old News
Michigan Argus