This is the blog for our little farm in Skagit county. Here we have Shetland sheep and Nigerian Dwarf goats. In addition we have donkeys, cattle, pigs, chickens, geese, and peafowl. The blog describes the weekly activities here.
Today we have 4 sheep visiting. I found out that if I have 41 sheep + fiber goats here for shearing this next Wednesday that there is a 20% discount per sheep/goat. So since I have 33 sheep and 4 fiber goats I need 4 more animals to get this savings. So I asked our neighbors the Houles if they wanted to bring the 4 sheep they bought from us last year over. They agreed although had been thinking they would shear themselves. I feel bad about spoiling their shearing plans, but it certainly is easier for all of us to have the shearer do it. So they brought Aries, Darwin, Josefina and Katarina over today in anticipation of shearing. It’s nice to see them again and see how they have grown and changed. Josefina and Katarina are just cute and friendly as can be. They did manage to get some hay in their wool like their mother. Darwin has grown a lot and his fleece is gorgeous and huge- looks to be double coated, light grey and soft. Aries has a nice colored moorit crimpier fleece. They are concerned it might be felting. I will check it out when I get a chance. In the meantime the sheep are reacquainting themselves and reestablishing rank.
Josefina & Katarina
We also had a bad scare this last week. On Friday morning I noticed that Jenny, our 7 year old katmoget ewe from Windy Valley, was not interested in eating. This is not like her at all so I brought her into the feed shed to examine her. I noticed her abdomen was quite full, and she was breathing a little fast. She was also occasionally moaning. Her temperature was good, and she had plenty of strength. I drenched her with docusate and as about to drench her with electrolyte solution when I thought better of it and decided to bring her to the vet. We were scheduled to go to my uncle George’s funeral at 3:00 in Seattle so I quickly called the vet and we carried, drag and hoisted Jenny into the truck and headed to the vet.
One of our wonderful vets at Chuckanut Vet Clinic felt that she was not too bloated, but that she appeared to have ileus (rumen shutdown) from grain overload. I had increased the flock to full grain amounts of 1# each on Monday which he did not think was too much, but we think she may have eaten more than her alloted amount as she is a pig. I had been feeding grain in a 10 foot trough for the first time rather than in individual pans. So we are thinking she bullied her way to get more feet of the trough and overdid it. So now I am feeling quite guilty about changing the feeding practices for my convenience and now facing losing Jenny as well as her lambs due in 2.5 weeks. The vet tubed a solution of Magnalax and activated charcoal into her stomach and gave us banamine (painkiller) once per day and propylene glycol/vitamin/electrolyte paste twice per day. Then we hoisted her back into the truck, got her home, medicated her, cleaned up and drove the the funeral.
We barely made the service but am glad I went But then we had dinner en route home and arrive at 9 PM. Jenny did not look good. She could not stand, she was breathing quite quickly and had not stooled yet. I figured we were going to lose her and even contemplated putting her out of her misery. But we medicated her again and hoped for the best.
Saturday early morning I had to go to work so it was up to Tom to manage her. I kept expecting a call from him that she had died and he was burying her. But instead I got a voice mail that she was perking up, trying to stand, had stooled a little and urinated. He called the vet and was instruction to drench her, that it’s too early to consider a c-section and he was surprised she was improving this quickly. As the day wore on I kept getting voice mails that she was perking up more and more, standing, drinking, peeing, pooping. Then when I came home this morning she is a whole new sheep. She’s ornery as ever, wants out of the pen now, drank all of her water, had 3 piles of diarrhea (which is what we want right now) and had hay all over her face. She even blasted through the pen door and briefly escaped! So it looks like she is on the road to recovery. But she was quite ill and I worry about the status of her lambs. We will see.
Oh, I’m so glad that she is recovering – what a worry they are sometimes, huh? Moni has gone downhill from yesterday and John has taken her to the vet this afternoon – I hope she is OK – I didn’t see that it would be any benefit for me to be there – I’d only be cold and in the way, plus I’d planned to make soup for the next couple days meals this afternoon. Hopefully he’ll give me a call here soon. >>Good luck with your shearing. I know Zander will do a good job. Those two HST ewes are sure cuties. Maybe your friends won’t recognize them when they’ve been sheared and you can keep them — ha, ha… Take care of your back too! Let the kid do all the heavy lifting.
I really hope Moni does OK. Do you think she’s infected? I would hate to have you lose her too. That would just be too much.>>I am a little nervous about shearing and sure hope he does well. Nobody took us up on our offer to help for cheap fleeces. So it’s just Tom, Zander and I. The plan is for me to do the shots and hooves after he shears each sheep. But we also need to catch each sheep, take photos (of course), bag each fleece and label it. We’ll see you this goes.>>I do not think they won’t recognize them- they love their HST sheep and I think the feeling is mutual. they are really friendly and come right up and sniff you- quite adorable.