Friday, 17 April 2015

A Good News-Bad News Kind of Week

Ewe 2841 lambed healthy, if smallish, triplets with only a little assistance on the last one. But, with no one to hold her head for me, the ewe got up while I had half my arm inside her. My shouting "Stop moving, I'm TRYING to HELP" at her had little effect, so I just followed her around the garden and manipulated the stuck lamb on the move. One of the triplets will join our lamb orphanage.  There are already four lambs in there.

Which brings me to my bad news.

Matilda died. She wasn't sick, or off colour, she just...went. It looked like a seizure. My first thought after "Oh god, what killed her?" was "How am I going to break the news to blog reader Hazel and her family?!" She is the mother of ewes in my flock, so her memory and her DNA will live on. I hope that is some consolation. Still I had to break the news to her lambs. I told them Jesus wanted her for a sunbeam, and taught them to drink from a bottle.

On the good news front, Spud doesn't have cancer. I found a tumor on her last week; both the vet and I thought it would turn out to be a sarcoma, but it was a benign tumor. Phew. Flatcoats are prone to sarcomas, so it was a worrying week waiting for the histology report to come back. Pip took first shift to keep Spud company while her stitches heal -

Then Molly sprained her wrist, so now she's on bed rest with Spud. They share a large crate in the living room and pass the time eviscerating old pillows I put in the crate for them to sleep on. Injured or no, their energy levels are totally unaffected. There are few things worse than a clever gun dog on enforced rest.

There is only one more ewe to lamb, not two. Ewe 0005 was marked as pregnant by our scanner guy, but I'm sure she's not. As she's never conceived or lambed successfully, it looks like I will be putting some mutton in the freezer next month.

All the ewes with lambs at foot have gone across the road to fresh woodland pasture and the lambs are growing on quickly. That commercial ram has put some meat on those lambs, but my heart is with the Dorsets so I will be heading for the big ram sale in May to find a ram of my own.


Seester said...

I remember Matilda had a rough entry into the world... maybe she had a congenital defect. (That defect might have been 'being a sheep' given what you've said about their constitutions.)
So, do you raise all of your sheep Christian, or just some of them? Do you raise some of them in other faiths? You should consider raising the ones who are headed to ice camp as Hindus so they can be reborn -- maybe as happy flat coat retrievers!

Anonymous said...

I am happy for you that lambing season is almost over. You do work hard! Good luck with the dogs in lockdown.

Hazel said...

I read this post a couple of days ago and have remembered I only commented in my head...

I am really sorry to hear about Matilda- it was kind of vicarious sheep-keeping, I think! The children were sorry too, though my blog reading is one of mum's eccentricities (bloggers I talk about regularly are referred to as my 'imaginary friends' in this house!)

I thought the same as Seester- her rough start was the reason she was Matilda, so maybe that had something to do with it. I'm glad it was quick, but sorry about the timing. I hope her lambs are happy with your explanation!

Janice Bendixen said...

RIP Matilda. I feature she's in a lush pasture somewhere with no wind- or rainstorms. But I'm also excited about the Dorset ram! This will be a new adventure we can share with you. Come one Spring! Great job on a very busy lambing season, Jen. From your "imaginary friend" in Alaska

Janice Bendixen said...

And sorry I forgot to mention how WONDERFUL the news about Spud is! That's a mercy, as I feed Cherni Girl (Airedale, 6 yrs old) her pain med for her injury-caused arthritis. Maybe that explains why she's been eviscerating all her toys lately? Hmm.... Still happy for both you and Spud. Oh, and Mike and Pip and Dulcie and, and, and... You get the picture.