Tuesday, May 1, 2007

A Busy Day

Cleanup after the "lamb storm" included staying home from work today to have the vet come out and deal with the retained placenta, an infected foot that wasn't healing (there was still baling twine in it, that I had missed...), an odd lump evident after shearing that wasn't going away (healed broken rib), several other minor things while he was here anyhow. Tuition for today's lesson on sheep health: $93. Homework: intramuscular injections of penicillin for 5 days, twice a day, for two sheep, plus soaking the foot in epsom salts 20 minutes twice a day.

A simple foot-soak method: put a long sock over the ewe's leg, up above the knee or hock. Put a clean plastic bag over the sock. Put the other sock over the whole thing. Pour soaking agent into the plastic bag. Use duct tape on the top cuff of the socks (not on the sheep's wool) to keep it from falling below the knee. The inner sock keeps the hoof from puncturing the bag; the outer sock keeps the ground from puncturing the bag. Sheep are SO good at not picking at such "bandages" compared to other livestock and pets!

This method is quick to apply and take off, unmessy for the "nurse", and the sheep need only be restrained for a few minutes before and after. Socks can be washed and reused, bag thrown away. Compare to forcing the sheep to stand in a bucket or dish tub for 20 minutes....

The laboring ewe lamb Saturday night ended up having a premature lamb, which I found still totally enclosed in the amniotic sac with afterbirth attached. Two preemies at the same time hints at some environmental factor--moldy hay, or an infectious agent such as toxoplasmosis. The triplets are doing fine. No new lambs since then so hopefully no more preemies.

I tried to get as much done as I could around the vet call. Chores, of course. But also: Fed-Ex back the huge box of the wrong kind of egg cartons I got when I mistyped the item number on the order. Talk with someone that's interested in buying some dairy sheep. Start the paperwork to get the ownership on the van that the former tenants left here straightened out. Talk with insurance agent about the van. See neighboring landowner, and get copies from him of the lease for the pasture he is renting me for the summer (bring my own fences). Order additional Electronet fencing from Premier. Take the young Border Collie to the vet to get blood work done prior to her admission tomorrow for in-patient heartworm treatment. Have someone from the Porta-pottie rental place come look to be sure they can get their trucks into the area I want the Porta-pottie. ($75 per month, but bound to pay for itself in time saved from walking from market ($$$) garden to bathroom. Why my house is a bad farm house: to get to the bathroom, you have to go through the garage, through the large entryway with white vinyl flooring, through the large kitchen with white vinyl flooring, through the living room with hard wood floors, and through the little hall.) Take a load of scrap metal (rusty shelves, chicken waterers with holes, other debris from the tenants) to the recycler's, and come home with truck load of used corrugated galvanized roofing. See tree trimmers cutting down two prime pear trees ("We tried to talk 'em out of it, but the owners were afraid they would attract bees that would sting the children.") in a neighbor's yard; stop to talk and end up with a truck load of wood chips and logs. Unload logs so that nephew can borrow lawnmower to mow my daughter's lawn...first rearranging the pile of other logs waiting to be cut and split for firewood. Make arrangements for tree trimmers to come next week and fell a bunch of "trash trees" (volunteer elms, mulberries, black walnuts) around the yard that are firewood size and crowding out things like the fruit trees and the "bird tree" fir that we decorate with edible decorations each winter. Go out to eat with nephew who worked up an appetite (me too!)

And somehow I still feel like I didn't get much done today....
But baby steps will get me "there" in due time.


Catlady said...

No, no, no.... It is *ME* that doesn't get much done during an average day!!!!

Keeping the poor young BC in my prayers - have heard it isn't a pleasant thing to get heartworm!

Felt a moment of anger about the one sheep - how does one break a sheep's rib???? I know, I've let the anger go, but gee....

Well, I'm off to try to get half of what you accomplish in a day done here...(Where *DO* you get the energy?)

Natalya said...

I SERIOUSLY doubt foul play or neglect with the broken rib. They can be incredibly rough with one another, in their rare moments of resettling dominance or just crowding through a door or gate. Also, it's not uncommon for a ewe to step on a lamb. The lump of the healed break is right where the rib is joined to the sternum, in the ewe's "armpit"...so perhaps more torn/scarred cartilage than solid bone, esp. if it happened when she was young.

I left my cell phone in my truck while I was working today, so didn't get to call in for an update, and the vet didn't leave a message. I presume Luna's doing fine since they didn't try to call me. The house seems empty without her, even though she's rarely in the house!

And in answer to your last question--chocolate. Strong dark chocolate. No TV. Border Collies as role models.