Monday, December 08, 2014

Mellow or mopey?

Yesterday morning when I headed down to do chores, all the boys in the wooded lot were bellied up to the hay-bar – except Bart. He was laying off by himself, looking kinda' blue.
Instantly I was reminded of his unusual mellowness the other day. A little warning bell should have gone off in my head then; sheep are very good at hiding a variety of ills and anything "unusual" should be a tip-off. Apparently I was too excited by the nice photo op he gave me to take note – and he looked perky enough then.

Anyway, after I put more hay in the feeder, Bart eventually got up, stretched, and walked over to eat. The stretch was reassuring, as was his appetite. But later, when I went down to ride my pony, Bart was laying down, looking sad, again.
Yes, the shepherd is concerned. And my vet is out of town – of course.

Everyone else is doing fine. I wish the breeding group wasn't still together, but before I do a big sheep shuffle I need Rick to bring home some OB wire to trim one of Benny's scurs. Then I can put Benny with the big wethers, move the two (hopefully) bred ewes in with the other girls, and put Browning in with Blake for company.

I think I'll reintroduce the girls out in the pasture, where there is more room to move and yummy grass to focus on. Yesterday would have been a beautiful day for it.

Annabelle is doing pretty well. She's arthritic, but not tripping and going down as much since I trimmed her hooves. Her body condition hasn't really changed, but every once in awhile, her belly catches my eye.
That little niggly voice in my head finally pushed me to look back through my blog. Could she have settled when Barbados broke out? That would result in the earliest lambing date I've ever had, but I guess it's possible. Time will tell – unless I can persuade Rick to ultrasound her.  Not that I would change anything if she IS pregnant. Abortion would be as hard on her as a pregnancy, and I've already been supplementing her with Sheep Chow and a little alfalfa. (My mental state would most definitely change – to worried vigilance mixed with excitement over the fabulous lamb(s) this cross should produce, and possibly that elusive Annabelle daughter I so wanted.)

In other farm news, Goldilocks and the broody Buff are out of the nestbox and acting like flock members again; the Buff's comb and wattles are perking up, too. Chickens are a mystery.

That's it for today from . . .


Susan said...

Here's hoping that Bart just had a down day. I had to laugh - chickens are, indeed, a mystery. I had one old gal who I was sure was going down for the count. Now she's all perky and fine.

Thistle Cove Farm said...

Michelle, easier and less expensive to keep them healthy and well than get them thataway. Good for you, knowing your flock!
Merry Christmas.

thecrazysheeplady said...

I'm assuming you've checked eye scores?

Michelle said...

Sheep sickness can be pretty mysterious, too, Susan. Most of the time we don't ever know for sure what is wrong, we just throw the kitchen sink at 'em (high dose B vitamins, pain reliever, probiotics, sometimes antibiotics) and they usually get well.

Very true, Sandra – and Merry Christmas to you, too!

Sara, Bart is the one sheep I have that I can't catch without rounding everyone up into the fold, so no, I haven't been able to do that.