This last week has been my worst in the time I've been working with and keeping my own sheep.
First two went missing very mysteriously from their field. A ewe and her lamb. I walked the boundary - which of course I did before they went in there weeks earlier - and found that all of my repairs had held and that there was no clue as to where they might have got out. I've walked miles looking (and so have my friends!) but to no avail. So I've no idea where Russett and Kylie are, nor how they got out.
Then 8 weeks to the day since their last dose of Crovect, I got three cases of fly strike, all in tup lambs. I'm pretty gutted at having had to make holes in the beautiful fleeces, but I've treated everyone now. I've never had fly strike in a Shetland before and generally try to keep use of crovect to a minimum (ie. don't constantly reapply) but it seems essential in Argyll. Any alternatives anyone?
One of my favourite tup lambs, Sullivan my grey HST, started scouring and the vet found that he had a high temperature so he is on antibiotics. My sheep never scour.
After a couple of days, the remaining twin Tavish (whose brother Tomas died a couple of weeks ago) appeared to be clear of his flystrike (the skin had not been broken in his case) but would not stand up and looked thoroughly miserable. I took him to the vet and she found that he had a heart murmur. I decided to put him to sleep and cried in front of the vet, and then again in front of my friends, oh dear :o(
The vet told me that the other twin may well have had the same condition. So all this time I've been beating myself up over them not doing well, and the fact that I didn't give one of them to Robina, and wondering why the ewe wasn't particularly interested in them, and now I know the real reason for them being so small.
Thankfully everyone now seems to be on the mend, and only my pocket is still hurting! Worming and fluking all the sheep this weekend.
Any tales of joyful shepherding welcome!