Friday, 11 September 2009

Worst Week

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!

7 comments:

Sharrie said...

Boy, that is a whole lot for one week. Hope things get better for you real fast. Thinking good thoughts for you and sending them over the "big pond".

Tammy said...

So sorry to hear of your terrible week. I believe it was Kara over at Mapleton Farm who had a ram go missing for several days. He was found safely several miles away trying to fit into a herd of horses and cows. No explanation of how he got there. So I'm hoping that a miracle will happen and your sheeps will turn up.
Tammy

Donna said...

I am SO sorry about your very bad week (even worse than mine!). When it rains, it pours, huh? Does not sound like anything you are doing wrong, if that's any consolation, just shepherding with its tremendous ups and downs.

Mim said...

Gee's what a year you've had with you sheep! Seems it comes in waves hopeful it will be over for you now! Your wayward sheep could still be found, I'll be praying here for the happy reunion.
Last year was my year for bad times but things are better here now. I have a new ram have you seen him?

Doreen said...

Oh Jenny - what a terrible week you have had. I don't think I could have handled as well as you did. I pray that Russett and Kylie will turn up as nible and spry as ever and I also pray that your flock will have a very healthy turnaround from here on in. You deserve to have some peaceful quiet moments.

Tammy W. said...

Oh Jenny - I feel so terrible for you. But please keep your chin up as every cloud has a silver lining. Put the word out to the neighbouring farms that you are missing a couple of sheep - they may very well have found their way elsewhere. Things will turn around for you - this is just a little bad patch. I shall be thinking of you.

Claire said...

Gosh, what an awful week. I know what you're feeling - it was over a month ago now but we lost a ewe to a stroke and then lost her two lambs later that week. It was just heartbreaking. The lambs were even weaned, so we have no idea what happened. I do hope things are improving in the flock now.