Lambs, overalls and lipstick

 Lambing in the sheep barn

My husband’s new, blue overalls were already plastered when I arrived in the sheep barn this afternoon. He had placed the lamb he was holding on the ground and was waiting until its tail was no longer horizontal, trying to avoid adding another substance to the blood and iodine that covered his legs. Tail lowered, he picked it back up again and examined it. “Female” he said, spraying a letter on its back in red.

I picked up the little notebook and wrote down the number of the sheep and the letter of the lamb. Each lamb gets the same treatment – the umbilical cord is shortened with what look suspiciously like my old scissors and then it is disinfected with a good douse of iodine. Next comes a shot of vitamins in the leg. I’m allowed to fill up the syringe this year. My husband must have forgotten that I poked the needle in my finger last time and then spent two weeks worrying about what sheep related disease I was going to die of.

The sheep and lamb(s) are then sprayed with the same letter – blue for those sheep who have just one lamb and red for those who have had twins. Finally in the notebook will go any comments relating to the sheep, such as “milk on only one side”.

Every now and again, a ewe will get a smart new necklace of blue string – usually when they are old or have health problems. These sheep will be taken away sometime after lambing and will be turned into lipstick. Or so I am told, although this could be just a ploy on the part of my husband to encourage a reduction in my cosmetics expenditure.

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8 Responses to Lambs, overalls and lipstick

  1. tut-tut says:

    How many lambs do you expect this year?

  2. Heidi says:

    Tell your husband I’m not using lipstick from now on!!

    Why different marking for twins/singletons?

    Heidi

  3. Kathleen says:

    Sheep into lipstick? Oh gad.

  4. I saw a video of sheep shearing when I was a kid and have always thought it looked so interesting. I’d love to see it happening and cart the wool and all that.

  5. Mary Alice says:

    Lipstick? I just screamed. It does sound like a very interesting process – how many weeks does this go on…are they all due within the next three weeks or so?

  6. cari says:

    Speaking of New Years jinx…M managed a special trick this year! Maybe we’ll qualify as guests 😉 Aren’t lambs sweet…I once hand reared nine in my kitchen along with the five cats, three dogs and various kids – 2 legged that is. That year no one would eat roast lamb, lol. Have a brilliantly productive lambing season and a wonderful New Year!

  7. Mouse says:

    Yep, that would stop me wearing lipstick too!

  8. Mouse says:

    hang on, I don’t wear lipstick!
    phew!

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