Mary Had a Little Lamb

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Mary had a little lamb its fleece was white as snow;
And everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

We have all learned and recited the nursery rhyme about Mary and her lamb. It is a sweet poem and made me wonder if lambs would make a good pets.

Research on keeping a lamb for a pet was sparse which leads me to think not many have considered the option. Before you plan on raising a lamb you need to realize that they do not stay small and cute and are a huge responsibility. They grow to become quite large, strong and consume most anything eatable.

You have a choice of hair sheep or wool sheep. The difference between them is the ratio of secondary (hair, kemp) to primary (wool) skin follicles. Low-maintenance hair sheep have a mixture of hair and wool that sheds naturally in the spring. They do not require shearing, crutching or tail docking. Hair sheep adapt to a wide variety of climates and will grow a thicker, longer hair coat in cold weather. My search more or less provided more positive results for the hair sheep as a pet. Any breed of sheep can be kept as a pet and a few miniature breeds are available. All sources did agree pet sheep should be females (ewes) or neutered males (wethers) and of course should not have horns.

Buy a lamb that is three years of age or less. Bottle fed sheep are usually more friendly, but that requires a lot of work. You may be able to purchase one that is a bottle baby and not yet finished with bottle feeding. The best lamb pets are the ones raised on a bottle because they will trust people and not fear being near people. When you bottle feed a lamb, it bonds to you and thinks you are its mother.

Sheep make unique pets, like dogs they can be very affectionate, but like any pet not all are the same and each one has it’s own personality. Sheep respond well to bribes, such as a treat of oats or sheep treats. Have hay and grain available if your grass supply is low. Control the amount of grain because they will sometimes eat it until they become sick. Make sure any plants that you want to keep are not accessible. Clear the area they are free to run of any poisonous plants. Although they do not require a big space to roam do provide plenty of room for them to do their business.

Like any pet make sure your lamb is seen by a veterinarian for vaccinations and regular check ups. Learn to care for your sheep’s hooves from your vet then purchase the proper equipment to maintain. Become knowledgeable about common ailments in sheep and learn to recognize symptoms.

It followed her to school one day, which was against the rule;
It made the children laugh and play, to see a lamb at school.
And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near,
And waited patiently about till Mary did appear.
“Why does the lamb love Mary so?” the eager children cry;
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know” the teacher did reply.

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About Author

Devoted pet owner and now, devoted pet editor, Judi spent her time working in traditional offices, keeping the books and the day-to-day operations organized. Taking her dog to work every day for over a decade never seemed odd. Neither did having an office cat. She knows what it's like to train a new puppy and she's experienced the heartache of losing beloved companions.

3 Comments

  1. Bridget Collins on

    So, that’s why a lot of owners use bottles to feed little lambs. I thought it was some sensitive thing that baby lambs go through; my bad.

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