We tried (and briefly succeeded) in catching all the neglected sheep where I had sold three Shetland sheep in 2007. We had the essential help of Julie, so three people versus 11 very wild sheep and one llama. Unfortunately we had caught the majority of the 11 sheep in a chicken coop. But when we went to separate the Shetlands from the Jacobs and Navajo-Churro sheep, they busted out the coop’s gate, breaking the conduit support of the gate, the gate stop and the tie that held the gate shut. This was after we had chased the sheep for a while around a 5 acre pasture to finally get them in the coop (they refused to go in the barn).
We did manage to catch two of the Jacob ewes and Ewegenie, our Shetland ewe, and move them into the secure pens of the barn. Here are the Jacobs.
So we able to chase the flock back to the makeshift bedraggled pen near the barn and catch Lady Madonna, our other Shetland ewe. It was at this point I realized that the other Shetland ewe we had sold them, Shauna, was not in the flock. She is presumably dead. There was a carcass in the field, but I did not stop to see if it was hers or another sheep. So I feel quite sick about Shauna’s fate but at least we got two of our Shetlands back. Here they are in the trailer about to return home.
There is a woman coming to pick up the other sheep and the llama (who we were never able to catch). She is bringing herding dogs so I hope that helps. Tom and I are hurt and exhausted and gave up trying to catch the sheep and llama for the other woman. Plus she was over 2 hours late.
Now that I safely have our sheep out, I feel I can discuss more freely how neglected these animals have been. There were being feed free choice grain and no forage. When the grain ran out they were given pancakes. A horse rescue had donated 10 bales of hay 2 1/2 weeks ago. There are still 7 bales left in the barn. 11 sheep and a llama should have eaten 1/3 to 1/2 bale a day so more hay should have been fed by now. Plus we found no evidence of where the hay was being fed. The goats hooves had not been trimmed in years according to the goat rescue. The goats were infected with lice and have many open sores. I doubt the sheep have ever been sheared. I doubt these animals have had any of the health care and maintenance that they need. Apart from the rotting sheep carcass there were a lot of dead chicken bodies around. There were huge rats and loose grain in the barn. The pasture was quite dangerous with loose wires, fencing, and boards, some with upturned nails. It is a wonder we were not hurt worse. So here are our sheep back home again in a pen in our barn.
I will leave them alone for today but this weekend will need to trim their hooves, give them their CDT shots, and worm them. I will need to look at their wool to see if it is felted down to their skin and how difficult it is going to be to remove. There is algae growing on it. We will have to see if there is lice or other issues underneath. The work has just begun. Here’s is a photo of them when they were innocent lambs before I sold them into this horrible situation. That’s Ewegenie in the center, Lady Madonna on the left in the back and Shauna (now dead) on the right.