When we built this house we thought that we would finish the basement and have this lavish game room with pool table and all sorts of fancy things.  Three years later, and an unplanned farm started, the oh so lavish walk out basement holds our giant freezer our home raised meat is in and our bikes.  In spring the basement becomes even more chaotic.  It is a place to raise babies, poultry, and bummer lambs.
This year the basement has been super busy, with two southdown lambs born in frigid February one rejected by her mom, and one who had an awesome mom but could not regulate his body temps in the minus fifteen degree weather we were having.  So they reside in a pen in the glamorous basement when they are not following me around outside.  They are weaning now so really they just need hay, grain and water a few times a day.  And of course lots of qt as they are very sweet and think I am their mama.  They are like little poodles all white and fluffy following me everywhere.  We even started halter training them as April, the ewe lamb will be shown at fair and the earlier the training the better.  Walking them on halter is like taking adolescent poodles for a walk.  I'm sure the neighbors think we are insane!  Aside from April, and Axel, the Southdown lambs, there are a group of khaki campbell ducklings and two African grey goslings in a large rubber maid tote in the basement.  They are not feathered out yet and therefore aren't old enough to live out on the pond yet.  They only require fresh water and food a few times a day and bedding cleaned.  The poultry are more Matt and Birdy's thing so I don't have to do much with them aside from cuddle the very friendly goslings between cleanings.  
The real basement ritual that goes on is bottle feeding the babydoll bummer lambs.  This year we have four!  One set of twins that again had a great mom that tried her best to care for them but for whatever reason, they did not figure out how to nurse.  Then they would get very cold, we would have to get them re-heated, as we so lovingly call the hair dryer routine, and take them back out.  After a couple days of this we decided to bring them in and just raise them as it is less of a middle of the night walk to the basement, then the barn.  There is also our only black lamb for this year, a little ram, he was found left for dead in the barn, a first time mom just didn't know what to do with him.  Although we tried to reintroduce him to his mama after we got him warm and dry, she never really took to motherhood.  He is a scrappy fellow and very fun to have around, he and the ewe lamb from Rain's twins love to have hopping battles to see who can jump higher.  The last of the four bottle babies is Meadow's ram lamb.  We found her with the ewe lamb up and nursing, and he was just laying there, not sure what to do.  He was a slow starter, and after several days of tube feedings and keeping him on a heat pad, he finally learned to take a bottle on Easter!  We call him old man, because for days he wondered around, walking like an old man, and has a scruffy face and huge eyebrows.  
So that is our lovely, still not finished basement.  We spend so much time stumbling around in the wee hours of the night, feedng lambs, gettig dressed to go out and do barn checks.   It didn't really have a chance once we decided to make this piece of land a farm to feed our family and community.  It is by far not fancy, but I am very grateful for it.  It is a place we spend many hours caring for tiny lives, and though it can be dusty and cluttered, it does the job.  And really isn't that the beauty of most things on the farm!  
Hoping you all have a warm, and blessed day friends!

Michelle Stephens
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