Weaning Day

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Barbados Blackbelly ram lambs, 12 weeks old. It is weaning day. That’s when they no longer get to nurse from their mother and, instead, are moved into a separate pen where the other rams live.

Why is this important? Weaning day is a big day for everyone. Actually two days. None of us is very happy for those two days. The babies, obviously, want their moms and the comfort of milk-on-demand. So they yell their hearts out. The mom’s udders are full and uncomfortable and they’re listening to their babies in the other pen yell their hearts out, so they yell back. I’m trying to work and sleep amidst all this hollerin’ and bellowin’ and it isn’t easy, let me tell you.

Then magically, on day three, no one cares any more. The ram lambs go on about the business of learning how to be boys and how to respect Alpha Ram while figuring out how to unseat him. The moms realize how much easier life is without having those kids constantly butting them in the bag and hangin’ onto a teat (with teeth!). And I’m just grateful that the noise has stopped.