Kids learn about suckling lambs
By ALANA LISTOE - IR Staff Writer - 05/03/06

George Lane IR Staff Photographer - Lee Anna Zimmerman laughs as two lambs try to suckle from the same baby bottle. Zimmerman and her classmates from St. Andrew School were visiting the Peggy Phalen farm to learn about lambs and ewes.

“This thing is hungry!” Caleb Nistler, first-grader from St. Andrew School, said as a small bum lamb suckled aggressively from a bottle he was holding.

Nistler was among a group of St. Andrew’s students who visited the Phalen Farm on MacDonald Pass yesterday.

The farm currently has 80 lambs and Nistler said he had fun getting the chance to feed them.

Seven-year-old Jean Hampton said it was the first time she had ever fed a lamb and although it was fun, she wouldn’t like to have one for a pet, she said.

Jean’s mother Denise Hampton, accompanied the group to the farm and was glad to hear her daughter wouldn’t be asking for a pet lamb soon.

“Being around babies on a farm that in itself is good,” she said of the visit.

Peggy Phalen said she has welcomed children to visit the farm even before living just outside of Helena, when she had a ranch in White Sulphur Springs.

“I like to have kids come out because they can’t get hurt (by the lambs),” Phalen said.

The farm starting out decades ago with just 10 sheep, Phalen said, and the numbers have gone up since then.

“They eat the weeds so you don’t have to do so much spraying if you can keep them down naturally,” she said.