Lamb Weigh-in at the Ag. Center was a long time ago and I am just now writing about it! So much has happened since then and I will try to bring you up-to-date. Lamb weigh-in was very easy for me and it did not seem to be too sore for my little lamb, Domino. Friends helped me with the paperwork and then we led Domino on the leash and we waited in line. I remembering hog weigh-in was so noisy; the pigs were squealing and kicking and fighting the whole way. Lamb weigh-in was very quiet—maybe a little `baaing’ from the lambs but no squealing and kicking and dragging while they moved down the line. Maybe when it was each one’s turn, we would hear a little `baaa’ but no squealing or squawking. When it was our turn, they took out Domino’s yellow tag with my name on it and they put in another tag with the number 322. And they painted some green paint on his ear and gave him another stamp. He `baaed’ a little bit and we had to get him on the scale: 34 pounds. Mr. Venier said that we would work on it so that he would grow bigger and stronger before the Fair. We took him for a little walk and then we put him in the outside coral while we went to talk to the chickens.
Lucas helped us find my chickens and we painted green finger nail polish on their feet again. We only painted the feet of 6 chickens, not 8. Lucas said that my two Polish Hens didn’t make it—they are very hard to take care of when they are little he said. My mom said that six chickens is very good—now we are completely legal if we decide to move them to our house in the city sometime this summer.
When I was in school, we took Domino for a walk when we were not busy with something else. One time we went for a long walk and then it started to rain!! We were very far from his pen so we all got wet. My mom wanted me to walk fast but I usually slow down in the rain so she took Domino back to the pen as fast as he could walk. My mom called Kayti to see if he would be okay or if he would get cold. We were very cold and wet but Kayti said that Domino would be just fine.
And sure enough the next when we went to take him for a walk the next day, he was warm and dry. This time we did not go very far away from his pen. Then we visited the chickens and they were much calmer than the day before when it was raining. Sometimes the chickens are CRAZY; they are always pecking and trying to get out the door and then other days they are happy and softly clucking, making their nice soft chickens sounds. On those days we go into the coop; I bring in a chair and sit down and my mom puts a towel on my lap to catch the chicken poop. I like to put out my arm hoping that a chicken will fly up and roost on my arm. My mom catches the chickens one by one and puts them on my lap so I can pet them and talk to them. It is really fun. I mostly like it when they roost on my arm, my shoulder or even my head! One time I had seven chickens on my lap and I was not scared! It was fun!
After lamb weigh-in day we had 4-H Extravaganza which was really fun for me because I learned a lot of new things about animals and how to take care of them and I won a prize that would help me with my new lamb. We started with the a BBQ dinner with hamburgers, salad and cake for dessert. Then we had The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. I liked that part and I liked the part about winning prizes! My name was called and I got to pick a prize. Tianna helped me choose a green halter for Domino. Then we learned about goats and about showing sheep and pigs. My mom thought it looked like a lot to learn: holding the lamb by his head, leading him in a line with the other lambs and owners, making the lamb stop and stand straight, looking good and strong, keeping his legs out straight, watching the judge and changing sides as the judge moves down the line looking at all the lambs. The older FFA students tried to encourage her and said that they would help us and the best thing we could do was to go to the Ag Center everyday to take Domino for a walk so that is what we have been trying to do.
AND then Domino got sick and didn’t grow. My mom was wondering about why he wasn’t getting bigger like some of the other sheep and then some friends told her that other lambs were sick too—they had caught an upper respiratory infection from the goats and that two lambs had died. Oh, no, now what do we do??!! Fortunately, Mr. Andres talked to her about it and told her that he gave Domino some medicine and that he had a red line on his back because they were watching him. Okay. That sounds good. And then he said that he thought I should take a goat instead of Domino to the fair because he did not think Domino would `make weight’ which means that he has to weigh 110 pounds by the Fair. So he got all the paperwork ready and I filled it out and signed my name; he signed his name and my mom signed her name and then Mr. Andres showed me my goat: # 608. He was not a very friendly goat because the FFA student who chose him at first didn’t take him for walks or give him treats so then I was able to take him. He was very jumpy and feisty as my mom likes to say. I tried to take him for a walk but he did not come with me so my mom had to take him for a walk: he jumps; he squawks like a goat, not like a pig; he sticks his tongue out, puts his bottom on the ground and squawks: I will not walk with you!! and then he pounces! Sometimes it is scary so that is why my mom takes Kanga on the leash and not me!! I named him `Kanga’ because he jumps like a Kangaroo and I like the book `Winnie-the-Pooh.’
Of course my mom did not want to abandon Domino completely so now when we go to the Ag Center. We catch Domino and then we catch Kanga and then we go for a walk together. This is on a perfectly good, normal day. Some days, my mom spends a long time running around the field trying to catch Domino—he does not come with the other sheep when she brings a bucket of grain for treats. And some days some of Kanga’s friends come out of the pen when they are not supposed to and then my mom ties Kanga’s leash to my arm, otherwise I will let him go when he gets a little jumpy and then she has to run around, chasing the other goats back into their pen, getting them grain to try to make them want to go in their pen. Every day at the Ag Center is a little bit different! One day while my mom was out trying to catch Domino in the field, four pigs got out and they took our shoes and started to play with them and snort around with them! It was CRAZY! I was all by myself and I might have said, `stop it pigs.’but my voice is very soft so they didn’t hear me but I was too scared to shoo them off our shoes, like my mom had to do when she got back with Domino. So anyway, after the walks and the treats, I always want to go see the chickens! My mom tries to talk me out of it sometimes when things haven’t been going well with goat and lamb chasing: aren’t you tired, Mathalia? Don’t you want to go home? and go to bed? NO, I want to see the chickens. And I always win! In the chicken coop, my mom calms down; after she grabs me a chicken or two, she will pick up one or two herself to hold and talk to. She is getting very good at grabbing chickens; they are much easier than a feisty goat or lamb who only likes to eat grass, she says; well, they are easier if they stay in their coop—if they get out, then I watch my mom chasing after chickens and they are pretty tricky because they can fly and they can go under the porch. As soon as I learn how to take pictures on my new camera, I will take a picture of my mom running after the sheep!