The Hardest Part of Having Animals

Is losing them.

It’s been a very rough week here on the homestead.

Last Sunday night Griff went down. He was never a sheep who would let me approach him, so as he lay on his side in the pasture and did not try to rise when I came near, I knew it was probably serious.
I called Tom and Donna and I’m so grateful to them for coming over help assess what was going on, and decide how to proceed. It seemed that the likeliest culprit was bloat, as the pasture is quite lush right now. We talked about treatments, but in the end I decided that it was probably kindest to let him go.

Griff was never a people-friendly sheep, but he was a good boy, and had a beautiful crimpy golden-taupe colored fleece.

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He will be missed, both by me and his good buddies out in the pasture.
My heart is heavy, and am really anxious about the possibility of the same thing happening to one of the other sheep. I’ve put out baking soda alongside their free-choice kelp, and am watching everyone carefully for signs of bloat.

That was Sunday.
Since then, sheep have seemed ok, but Thursday evening Boo kitten came limping home, carrying her left rear leg.
It was after the vet had closed, and I didn’t think that it seemed to terribly serious, so I tried to make her comfortable and clean out the woulds I could see (though she wouldn’t let me do much). Friday morning I took her in right away to have her looked at.

Turns out it was a pretty bad scrape she got herself into. Something really chewed up her left rear lower leg, and apparently the ankle(?) joint was involved, which complicates things. But no broken bones. Seems something had a good hold on her by the achilles but she managed somehow to get away.
Vet said that it was a good thing I got her in that day or she might have lost the leg. Yeeks.
So now she’s patched up, with drains placed all around her foot and leg (5 total) and a bunch of stitches as well. Poor girl is in a cone, and I’m administering pain meds and antibiotics twice daily.

And we lost a baby chicken to ravens last Wednesday.

So I’m hoping that is my 3. I’m kinda wiped.

2 Comments

  1. Maureen

    So sorry to hear about Griff. I have several sheep that are like him, very shy and nearly feral. For some of them, they tug at my heart and I love them even more. (For the others, not so much 😉 I’m behind on my CDT vaccines on them, so have been feeding free choice baking soda for a while now, just in case. They’re still penned and on hay for much of the day, but all that lush grass and browse for the few hours they are out…
    Glad your kitty will be okay; scary to think what might have gotten her and how lucky it is she got away. And I know the ravens hang out around here, too – my hens are too large for them, but I think they mostly come through to mess with the bird dogs – they give that croak-y call and it sends the two of them into a frenzy of barking at the base of the tree/s, or chasing across the property. The Rottweiler just looks at them, scratching her head.
    Hope you are done with loss!
    Best regards,
    Maureen

    Reply
    • denisemor

      thanks Maureen. I do hope I’m done with the bad for a while. Ravens have really been a problem for my chickens for about the last year. They’ll even go for smaller adult birds. Trying something called
      Crow Away” now. Seems like it might be making a difference, but only time will tell.

      Reply

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