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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Problem Child.

Look at that face.
While not technically a 'child', Flora - my sweet-natured, old lady ewe (11) - has been challenged since she arrived on the farm.   She arrived with respiratory issues which come and go.  She had pneumonia.  The first time she lambed (here), she didn't lose the placenta and developed an infection.  She is prone to worms.  She gets a runny nose and wheezes every so often.  But she is the SWEETEST sheep.  I love her to pieces.  I now have Flora, her daughter, Juno, and her grandson, Linden (who inherited her good nature).  Since I have limited 'pasture', I try to rotate them on the three fenced areas, plus on the rest of the cleared space in electronet when there's grass.  That's been a problem this year - between the drought conditions and high heat, there has been little grass.  I have plenty of hay for them, but the warm conditions cause all kinds of other bad conditions - like high worm load.  I worm them on a rotation, but don't like to overdo it.  And I keep an especially sharp eye on the old lady.  However, yesterday, as I was toting their hay to the shed, the sun shone on Flora and I noticed a slight bulge under her jaw.  ACK! 

I did some fast research (and called Kay) and she's now on a regimen of Cydectin - we figure it's barberpole worm - and I'm giving her Red Cell (for iron/minerals) and Selenium/E.  They have free feed loose minerals in the shed, and I give them organic dried kelp meal once a week.  I think I will have to be more diligent in cleaning up the paddock area, but it's a little harder with sheep as opposed to, say, cows.  Now that I know we are dealing with the dreaded Haemonchus Contortus (now there's an apt description), I am going to dose the entire gang with Cydectin.

It's been a tough year.

15 comments:

  1. Well, if it ain't one thing, it's another. It really has been a tough year, hasn't it?

    Flora was a mighty fortunate old gal to land with you for her forever home. She couldn't have better care . . . even though what a challenge it sometimes is for you. You're such a good, conscientious animal mom.

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    1. Mama Pea, ain't that the truth? She has been the dearest old girl from the get-go, never complains, loves her grass (and her grain). You just can't help but love her. And I do.

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  2. It seems like a single sheep should be called something else- like a shep or a shop or ship. And how did sheep survive years ago with no wormer available? Is this a new thing, did they get something to combat it in pasture, or did people just not care if they lost a few sheep? I have no experience with sheep. But I know that they have delicate constitutions. Just not sure how they survived 1000's of years.

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    1. Good question, Jane. I assume that they had less of a chance of running into these parasites, as there weren't fences and they roamed constantly. Once you contain an animal, you put them at risk for parasites - it ain't pretty, but that's the gist of it. It's just important to be on top of things and to pay attention to your sheep/goats/horses/cows/etc.

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  3. Awww, she does look like a sweetie-pie! :)
    I hope this regimen will get rid of those dreaded worms! Blech!

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    1. Well, so far, so good. But it's amazing how fast they can go downhill.

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  4. She looks sweet. My oldest daughter has sheep, and LOVES them! they run loose on the farm like dogs...we keep the garden fenced in.
    Hope she feels better soon:(

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    1. I would love to let mine run free (not...) but they'd probably go raid the neighbors!

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  5. Nasty parasite. Really nasty. Glad you caught it, as the mortality rate is so darn high from it.

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    1. That's what really alarmed me - and she's not the heartiest of sheep. We seem to be doing okay, so I'll just keep giving her a boost (vit E) once in a while until I'm satisfied that she's in the clear.

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  6. I just found your blog. Your life sounds much like mine. 62, homesteading for the past few years or so off and on since I'm now also raising a child. Back on now and grateful to be. Never a dull moment and I do pray for them on occasion.

    Hope your very loved problem child gets rid of those worms... nasty is right as someone else said.

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    1. Welcome, Elizabeth! I will go over and read your blog. I love meeting other 'late bloomers'. It makes me feel less alone.

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  7. I just had one of my young hens develop sour crop this week. Oh the drama! Put her on stuff to help her heal, had to put her in the "hospital room", but she's so sweet, lays and has a great disposition. My oldest hen doesn't lay much anymore so she's just in retirement. She earned it :) She has a very cushy life...

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    1. Nancy, I see you still have pic problems - bummer. I lost a younger hen to a crop problem. I was very sorry to lose her, as she was one of my Blue Andalusians. So, you have a hospital room, too? LOL!

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  8. I hope it works out for you, you work so hard and are vigilant with your animals so hopefully you caught it before it can cause any serious damage. She is a cutie for sure!

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