Sunday 5 August 2007

Silence of the lambs......

Finally happened on Wednesday, so peace and quiet is restored to Meadowcroft Farm and as I sit and write this blog I can see the lambs grazing in the back field in a line like a bovine lawn mover!!!!
The older ewes breathed a sigh of relief as their lambs were sent to a new paddock, but the 2 new mums Berniece and Bridget took it a little harder but by Tuesday they were non plus about their lambs.
Lucy/Lotty who we noted as being very thin at the shedding, is still very thin and on Saturday evening we noted a swelling on the side of her face, she looked O.K and was eating well. This morning things were not so good, she looked much worse and when we went into the field to take a more serious look she took very little or no catching. She had a very nasty green discharge from her nose and very loose at the rear end!!! The vet had to be called!!!
Our vet arrived with his partner and 2 dogs, a 5 month old whippet and a 4 year old Shetland Sheep Dog who was the spit and image of Deefa only the shrunken version. She was beautiful.
Now bearing in mind that on late Friday night a Foot and Mouth outbreak had been confirmed, that last thing we wanted was an ill sheep. Thankfully it was nothing too serious as a tooth abscess which had ruptured internally and hopefully a dose of antibiotics and she should be O.K. The vet was concerned that it could have been a very serious infection which causes abscesses on the sheep's faces. Having brought in 2 new sheep 3 weeks ago and one having an abscess on his shoulder, we were "ticking all the boxes for a serious infection"!!! But as we quarantine our sheep for 3 weeks there should have been no cross infection.
Hector's head is healing nicely where he lost his horn. He still stands with his head on one side and he's at the bottom of the pecking order of rams and weathers, but he will come into his own come November.
Hubby and the resident vandal have got through a lot of work this week thanks to the fine weather. The fencing on the common land, had been finished so has the surprise for the nephews. Can't say what it is as the youngest nephew can now read. You will have to wait until after they have been at the end of August to find out what the surprise is.
So how does the Foot and Mouth outbreak affect us. At the moment not too badly, we have a young ram lamb that needs to be moved onto hos new owner, all we will do is put him with the other rams and weathers. We have 6 Wiltshire Horn ewe lambs to pick up, but we were not due to pick them up until the end of August. We have nothing ready to go to market and at the moment we have sufficient grazing. Now we have fenced part of the common land, unless we put the sheep into one of the top fields, they will not come into contact with Pete's sheep, that will be good for both of us. We do have a regular family and friend's Open Day, which could be in doubt but as it's at the end of the month hopefully it will still happen. If we can register our Shetlands with the Rare Breeds we may be able to protect out Shetlands, but it does not protect the cross breeds so not sure what to do. But if the infection has come for the ministry lab as has been stated, hopefully this will be an isolated case. Will know more next week.
So watch this space, it's worrying but you can't go completely over the top and panic, that will be next weeks job!!!!!

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