Sunday, 10 August 2008

A bad week with the sheep

On Friday we had another ram lamb die, he was the smallest of the triplets and by far my favourite. There were no visible signs of anything wrong, he was unsteady on his feet on Wednesday, and considering earlier in the day Tim had seen him having a head butting competition with his brother we thought he was maybe concussed, but he was no better the following day and I gave him a shot of antibiotics, but on Friday he was dead. Looking through the sheep ailments book there are 2 possibilities, grass staggers caused by sheep grazing on very new lush grass and it causing a magnesium deficiency or a mineral B12 deficiency, again caused by new grass but growing during a wet summer, so there is very little or no goodness in the grass. The answer to both problems is to provide a mineral lick for the sheep. So on Saturday morning, licks were picked up from the local agricultural merchant and put in the fields that afternoon.
Today the ewes lolly pop lick has nearly all gone and all the sheep seem to have a spring in their steps, especially the ram lambs, so here's hoping we've cured the problem.
A routine check of the sheep last night saw Lilly limping and Layla with a rather nasty looking swelling on her lower jaw. So this morning we ran the sheep down into the handling area, with the help of Deefa. Layla has either been bitten or has a thorn in her skin which has caused an abscess, so she was given a dose of antibiotics, and I think she will need another injection in a couple of days time. Lilly on the other hand looked like she had mastitis, so I called Pete a local farmer friend to have a look. But it wasn't mastitis, but she was given an injection of antibiotics to be on the safe side as well as her feet trimmed, again we'll watch her over the next week just to be on the safe side.
The other sheep to give us cause for concern is Lotty our old matriarch, she's got a lot thinner. We were told by the vet that she wouldn't see the winter through last year, so for her still to be here is a bonus, but for how much longer we don't know...............

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