Cast Ewe

Each morning when I go to feed the girls I scan the paddock for aborted fetuses, check their poops, etc. watching for any signs of trouble in the flock. Well this morning my eyes fixed on the sight of poor very pregnant Hannah laying on her back with wild eyes and a slightly foaming mouth. I saw she was alive and struggling to move. Right away I looked to see if she was prolapsing, thankfully not. I jumped right in and figured out the problem immediately when I got to her. She was stuck in a depression and just couldn't get back up. I moved a round feeder out of that spot two days ago. It left a round depression in the bedding. I didn't think twice about it--until this morning.
Anyway, poor Hannah got back to her feet with my help and stood around in a daze for about 5 minutes. She looked bloated and very dirty, but once she regained her equillibrium, she decided that eating with the rest of the girls was the thing to do. She looks fine this afternoon. I shudder to think what might have been if I hadn't gotten there in time. I put the round feeder back into the depression so nobody else rolls into it. Our lambing starts in a couple weeks now.

I took photos yesterday afternoon. Hannah is pictured above. She retains a nice dark moorit color, but she was in the rise at shearing.

Cocoa looks like she's Brandet, don't you think? The Brandet marking in Shetlands is described as "having stripes of another color across the body". She's not brandet of course, I know why the darker color is coming in like that, but it's still a cool visual. Her other side is shown below, they match!

And Hannah's twin sister Hattie, below, is as big as her sister. They both take after their mother, Bramble Hetty, who seemed huge throughout her pregnancy. Hattie's standing next to her daughter Lucy and a Shetland Mule who were both in the rise at shearing too. Both are definitely pregnant. I'm hoping for a gulmoget out of Lucy. And I can't wait to see the 3/4 BFLs out of the Mules.


  1. Thank God you found Hannah! Your girls look SO pregnant!! I'm almost afraid to see mine, once they get shorn. I've got the shearer coming next Friday. I so hate shearing day...

  2. What does that 'casting' do? Is this a visual tease?

  3. Hi Garrett, a cast ewe is like a turtle on it's back. It can be a deadly situation if not found in time. Hannah is pretty short-bodied and pretty round in the belly being pregnant. So when she laid down near that depression in the hay, she rolled onto her back and couldn't get herself back up. She was looking pretty rough when I got her up again, wet and covered with hay and feces. Not to mention the bloat, apparently they can't burp in that position and they die of suffocation. So it was pretty scary to find her like that and thankfully she hasn't repeated the performance. She's the first one due here.

  4. Hey Nancy, did you get the sheep sheared last Friday? I've been watching your blog waiting for photos of your girls.


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