Pet lambs Jam and Jelly scored some bling this week here at Struan Farm. While it's easy to see that the brown faced lambs are Karen's pets, sometimes the pure white ones get lost in the crowd. And while I'm not sure about Fergie, Whiskey and Camilla given their aggressive behaviour at the back gate at bottle time, I'm rather attached to Jam and Jelly, along with my brown faced lambs Bambi and Diva. They come when they're called and aren't rough with either me or the other lambs.
Jam and Jelly are the twins whose mum got trapped under a log and ending up dying. We converted them to feeding by bottle in the Pet Pen, an exercise that took some time. They were wary of human touch for several weeks. It took a gentle approach to establish a relationship. Early on I had to chase Jam around the Pet Pen to hold and feed her, she wouldn't drink otherwise.
The collars are to avoid any confusion for Farmer John, identifying the lambs as "Karen's Pets." While it's usually easy to identify socialised pet lambs by their behaviour, when out in the paddocks they can get caught up in a mob of similar looking sheep and rounded up or separated. We don't want that.
Jam was easy to collar while she was drinking a bottle, hers is bright pink. Jelly was a bit more wary, certainly wary of John, who was meant to be helping me. The next day we swapped roles to get her collared: John held the bottles of milk feeding the two lambs while I put a bright purple collar on Jelly. She wasn't fussed.
Mission accomplished. I think they like them!
The other three white pet lambs are Whiskey (ram), Fergie and Camilla. Whiskey will go off to Farmer John's before or after Christmas. We'll see how Fergie and Camilla's personalities develop once the bottle chaos starts to calm down, they may get collars still. Fergie was a reasonably behaved lamb when she was separated in a paddock with Whiskey.
Of course the pet lamb diva of them all, Rosie, still wears her red collar with pride. Without doubt she'll keep the Class of 2018 in line, with or without collars, once everyone is weaned and out running with the mob December/January.