The sheep are causing me trouble again this year. I seem to be having a run of bad luck with them lately, but this week has been particularly bad.
One for the sheep managed to get into the lamb creep, where I've been feeding the lambs a mix of rolled oats, barley and beans. This feed is great for the lambs as it reduces their dependence on their mothers whilst still allowing them to fatten quickly.
Unfortunatly when this ewe got in there it didn't know when enough was enough and ate more than it's fill. It then got out and drank loads of water, this made all that grain in it's stomach expand and ferment.
When I found her she was pretty unresponsive, couldn't get up and was bloated. I tried everything to get the food and gas out, even giving her a drench with bicarb, oil and water which is meant to help get rid of the gas. I also made her swallow a plastic tube which is meant to do the same thing. Unfortunately, although I tried my best she still died. Apparently the stomach keeps expanding and crushes the major organs.
This hasn't set me in a great mood for the week.
|Sorry for the selfie, this was taken at nine on Friday night after I discovered orf on some of the lambs.|
Then when checking the sheep the following morning there's a lamb looking sorry for itself, it's sick with something and to make matters worse there's the early signs of orf; a scab in the corner of his mouth.
Orf is a perpetual pain with sheep as it'as easily spread around the flock. That meant that Friday night I had to get them all in and go through the lambs to make sure not too many had it. Not how everyone wants to spend their Friday night I'm sure!
The lamb is now on a course of treatment and looking a little better, but it'll probably still die!
I also had to do the second course of vaccinations for the lambs this weekend.
With so much work and so little return I do frequently questions if they're worth it. That said I do enjoy having the land and when I'm not working full time and my work load is lower the jobs won't seem s quite so bad.
What do you think? Would you keep sheep if you had the chance?