Hey there everyone,
It’s that time of year again, the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring; here at Maplewood Farm, that means baby animals, baby animals and more baby animals! Yaaaaaaaay!
If you’ve had the opportunity to come to the farm in the past 3 weeks, you have probably met some of our new lambs (who grow faster by the day!). You may have come across one lamb in particular, a little guy who has his own stall and heat lamp. This little lamb is named “Grizzly”. Grizzly is the ram (boy) lamb and also the runt from a set of triplets born to one of our ewes (a female sheep) named “Panda”. However, as often happens in nature, Panda realized that she could not rear all 3 babies, so she rejected Grizzly, entrusting him to the special care of us farmers. This situation has a happy outcome though, because Grizzly now has all the love and attention of 7 new mothers – and boy oh boy does he know it! When he isn’t with his seven farmer mothers that snuggle and play with him for hours and hours, he can be seen snuggling up to his favourite bedtime toy, an eyeless stuffed plush elephant, of which he happily curls up to under his heat lamp after the farmers tuck him in for the night.
In related baby news, on February 20th, our Jersey cow “Lima” introduced us to her adorable newborn heifer (girl) calf. Now, a scientific thing about dairy cows is that they are bred to produce enough milk for not only their calf (or calves), but also for us two-legged beings to buy and consume. Now, that is a lot of milk! In fact, it’s so much milk that if the calf was allowed unlimited access to his/her mother’s udder, the calf would actually drink way too much milk for their little tummies to hold, and would then get very sick. To prevent this from happening, farmers (like us) keep calves together in the same stall, or in a stall with other small animals, and bottle-feed them the cow’s milk until they are weaned and able to rejoin the group of cattle.
And so, this is how the little lamb, Grizzly, and this new calf became stall-mates! In these few short weeks, Grizzly and the calf have become friends… and then best friends… and now act more like brother and sister. They play together, eat together, nap together, and even remind us farmers (at the top of their lungs) when they are hungry together! Calves naturally like to nibble and lick everything within their reach; our little calf even sucks on Grizzly’s ear when he’s not looking! They both love being petted, and Grizzly, the more rambunctious of the two, has no problem climbing right over the calf to get closer to the little hands eager to give him a scratch. Even though Grizzly is smaller than the calf, he is a very speedy, agile, social little guy; he not only keeps up with the calf all day in the paddock, he also encourages her to greet the visitors that walk by.
In conclusion, I am happy to report that today both Grizzly and the calf continue to do well and have certainly found a new day-and-overnight companion in each other. Stay tuned to find out if the calf starts “baaaing” or if Grizzly starts “mooing”!