Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We had a disaster unfold yesterday, with one of our sheep found cast upside down along the fence. I thought she was dead, and then a leg moved. She had a big hole in her chest and it looked flyblown. We begged our shearer to come around ASAP to clean it up and have a look. He'd just finished a day's shearing miles away and must have been exhausted, but I pleaded and he relented.

She's OK, but has a 4 inch jagged, deep tear in her chest. Maggots were just hatching out in the wool, but she wasn't flyblown, thank heavens.

Nev's just clipped that area off with hand shears, and is coming tonight to do the rest of her and the others. Rain is predicted, but I hope he will arrive and do the job before it does.

I am so GLAD I went round to check on them and do their water, otherwise she probably wouldn't have lasted until tomorrow. Poor little gal!

Weeksie hasn't been the easiest of our little flock. Apart from being very short in the legs, her wool grows all over her face and she becomes wool blind if we don't trim it. She has tiny little horns that she likes to poke us with in close quarters, and she is always the one to make a break for it when we are moving them around, taking the rest off down the hill with her. But we do love her, for all her faults. 

Here she is a few years back with her tiny brand new twinnies.

Post Script: 
Poor Weeksie was attacked by a domestic dog, as we discovered when she was shorn all over. Bite wounds around her face and neck, a huge rip down one shoulder and a large three cornered tear on her rump made it very obvious the poor little girl has had a terrible time. We felt sick, and still do!

The vet is coming this morning to look at the largest wound on her chest. She has lasted this long, but I think antibiotics are in order.

I have done a letterbox drop to all local neighbours with dogs, letting them know what has happened, that we may be laying baits, and any dogs seen wandering near or property will be shot on sight. Trying to get the correct wording to put the wind up everyone, but not insult them, took a bit of work, but I think I got it right.

Hopefully this is a one-off event. Sheep farmers up on the borders of forest have many many sheep killed and mauled by wild and domestic dogs. It must be the worst discovery you could make as a farmer.

PPS. We have all survived nearly a week later. We had the vet for a check over, and cleaned her up each day and picked maggots out of the deep holes. Maggots are actually useful as they only eat dead flesh and leave the living. They apparently secrete an enzyme which dissolves only the dead stuff so they can lap it up, I have discovered thanks to Google. 

She has been very brave .... quite passive really, as she is usually a bit difficult. Last night as we did our final check and injected her with antibiotics, she began to play up again.. a sure sign she is feeling better. So much trauma and pain, for a sheep, she's been very understanding that we were helping her.

Everything is now sealed over, so there's nothing more than time can help. It's been less than a week since I found her and the HUGE hole in her chest is mostly filled in and the tear through the shoulder muscle is nearly there too.

Now I can get on and enjoy Christmas......... :0)

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