Nia is our Olde English Miniature Southdown Babydoll lamb.
Every once in a while certain things happen at the same time in life and we experience synchronicity! This is our story of such an event…
We had been busy handcrafting wool dryer balls to fill orders for local stores when one of our ewes named Peggy, delivered a premature lamb. For reasons only Peggy could understand, she rejected her lamb and abandoned her upon delivery.
We spend time with all our animals before we say goodnight and when I went out to see our flock of sheep that night …there was the tiny lamb laying in the bed of straw. She was still covered in mucous and very much alone. I took her over to her mom and Peggy ran from her. It was clear that Nia was on her own to survive so we needed to clean her up and keep her core temperature from dropping.
Fortunately we have wonderful neighbours who also raise sheep so we called Matt and Robin for their assistance. Matt had vast experience with lambing and knew the complications that could arise…so he was our hero that night. Thanks Matt!
Nia was very tiny at 1.5 lbs and too weak to nurse from her mom. It was imperative that she get the colostrum from her mothers milk into her within the first 2 hours of her birth. Peggy had to be held so we could squeeze the colostrum and milk from her teats into a small container. We then poured the little bit of colostrum we got, into a small stomach tube that went straight down to Nia’s tummy.We kept her wrapped in a towel and held her closely to our body to keep her warm.
We were overwhelmed with emotion and the uncertainty of what the outcome might be. Nia was the only lamb so we didn’t have the possibility of having another ewe raise her with her own lambs.
I stayed up with Nia all night and held her close to keep her warm and encouraged her to hang on to life! After several attempts, at 4am she was finally able to latch on to her mommy’s teats and drink some milk. We still had to hold her moms head and back legs as she tried hard to move Nia from her.
My husband and I did shifts around the clock…every 45 minutes we took Nia out for a feeding. Then every hour and soon every 2 hours and slowly she got stronger and stronger. Sadly, Peggy remained steadfast that she did not want her baby and she was too rough with her for us to leave Nia alone with her.
Nia was born on April 29th and it was still too cold outside for her so we made her a bed in a laundry basket and she slept inside by our bed. When she cried we picked her up and snuggled her and talked to her and she would close her eyes and go back to sleep.
There we were, in the midst of making wool dryer balls and in full-time care of this special little lamb. Every day she got stronger and stronger and the sheep remained too rough to leave her unsupervised with them.
It came time for delivering the wool dryer balls to the stores and I had Nia to care for at the same time. She would cry if she was left alone. Hmm…what a predicament to be in. So Nia came along for the ride… Imagine what happened when we walked down the sidewalks in downtown Victoria!! There was sheer joy and excitement in people to see a lamb and feel her wool. For many, it was their first time seeing a baby lamb. Nia loved all the attention and she brought an added dimension to the marketing of our Wool Dryer Balls. Each of the stores that carry the Wool Dryer balls have shared their love and cuddles with Nia! On behalf of Nia…we thank you!
We look forward to sharing the photos we took of Nia with the Store Owners and invite you to follow our blog as we feature each store.
In the meantime we are happy to report that Nia is now 7 weeks old and spends the daytime outside with our flock of sheep and her daddy Max is the one that has bonded the most with her.
Had her mom Peggy bonded with her at birth we would never have experienced this or been able to share her with so many people. She has brought such joy to our family and enriched our life with this experience.
We have given her the honourable position of being the Millstone Farm mascot!