February 8, 2010

lamb sweater
Photo by Sue Weaver

Cecil in a sock.

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This is the time of year when baby animals are born (hint: yesterday was Uzzi’s birthday and mine is March 4) and since it’s cold in barns, sometimes it’s hard to keep new babies warm.

Some people hang heat lamps in their barns to warm baby animals but it’s a dangerous thing to do. Fallen heat lamps and heat lamps installed too close to combustibles can burn down barns!

Instead, do like our mom does and make coats and jammies for your newborn kids and lambs (bigger versions work for foals, calves and baby crias, too).

For tiny babies like Cecil, the teensy lamb in this picture, make warm, cushy sweaters from big men’s wool socks. Snip off the top to make the sweater. Use the cuff for Baby’s collar, cut two holes for legs, making sure the fabric doesn’t cover a boy baby’s penis, and there you are!

goat sweaters
Photo by Sue Weaver

The twins wearing readymade goat coats.

Or, make a comfy covering for a slightly bigger baby using a sweat pants leg, the kind with stretchy elastic at the ankles. Make it just like Cecil’s sock sweater. It’s easy!

An option for bigger babies like foals: buy a child-size wool cardigan sweater at the used-a-bit shop. Snip off the sleeves, then fit the body of the sweater to Baby by feeding his legs through the arm holes and buttoning the cardigan along his back.

Imbir’ the horse says when he was born in the midst of a Minnesota blizzard, Mom made him a coat like this out of a child’s goose down vest!

Crafty people can knit, crochet or sew neat baby coats by following instructions posted on the Internet. Check these resources, they’re good ones!

Or, buy a readymade outfit like the stretchy dog sweater Kerla is wearing in this picture (its acrylic, so it’s fine to keep Baby warm in a chilly house but not warm enough for winter in the barn) or a specially made kid or lamb coat. You don’t need dangerous heat lamps to keep your babies warm!

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