Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Learning to Get Along

Well, the time has finally come. I put all the boys together and all the ewes together yesterday. So I'm down to just TWO pens to feed and water and only 20 sheep. The three 3/4 cross rams went to slaughter yesterday. At least they don't have to experience this bitter cold spell we're having. It was -27F this morning.

In the photo above is Bo, our only Shetland ram lamb, Beechtree Granite, our almost two year old natural colored BFL ram, Socks a 2008 Shetland Mule wether, and Peppy, our 2008 Ile de France/Dorset ram lamb.

Of course, when I put Bo in the 8 x 16' lean-to with the polled guys, he began chasing, butting and jumping on everyone else. He and Granite were really butting heads and Granite had a little bleeding. I just can't stand to see anyone get hurt in a situation like this, least of all my sweet, docile Granite! So I put them all together in my handy-dandy catch-pen. It's just a 16' hog panel which has bent into a U shape. I tie a 4' hog panel to the end for a gate. That thing has been the handiest item I've ever purchased. I use it as a lambing jug, a shelter (covered with a tarp), moving groups of sheep, displaying sheep when I do booths, inside the truck topper to protect the windows from ram's horns, and lots of other things throughout the year.

The boys have to maneuver around a hay feeder in there, so I hope they can't do much damage to each other. They have plenty of bedding for warmth, and they are inside a shelter out of the wind (our high temp today is supposed to be -5F). What more could I do? Oh yes, sprinkle them with cheap perfume! I'll try that too. I'm hoping they will get used to each other within a day; this cold spell is supposed to last until Friday.

Look at poor Rhaya's swollen nose! It's gone down some since this photo was taken on 12/23/09, but I wonder what's going on there. I saw it but didn't really think about it being a problem for the first week or so. It seems smaller now, so maybe it's nothing to worry about. None of the other sheep have this and it doesn't seem to be affecting her as far as eating, drinking, etc. If anyone has any ideas about it, I would be happy to hear them.

5 comments:

  1. Maybe a nasty piece of hay poked her and it's mildly infected? I know that happens in our llamas once in a while...

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  2. Yes, I was thinking that too. I gave them some stemmy first crop alfalfa hay when the temps went down before Christmas and that could have done it. I wonder if I should give an antibiotic if it doesn't continue to go down...

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  3. Do you think its an abscess? If so, you may need to wait until it comes to a head, and then clean it out. Rinse with diluted iodine (I think our vet said 10-1 mix of water and iodine. Try to leave it drain, and rinse it for as many days as you can still squirt a syringe full of the mixture into the drain opening. I had a 2 month old ram lamb get a big abscess like that on the corner of his mouth, and it healed up perfectly using this method.

    I put a picture of our 3 rams on the website taken a few hours after we put them back together. They are all snuggled up in a pile in the sunshine in the barn. I just love my big, mellow guys. :^)
    Lisa

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  4. I saw that photo on your blog Lisa, and I thought those BFL boys are SO nice! When Granite came home last week it was so easy to integrate him back in with the polled ram lambs. But Bo is making me work here.
    I've been watching Rhaya's nose for a couple weeks now and I haven't seen any sign of it coming to head. I'll keep an eye on it. I think it's reducing in size.

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  5. I always look forward to having only 2 pens again. It's so much easier, especially with the extreme cold temps we've been having. We use hog panels as gates in a couple spots, and do they ever freeze in hard!

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