Monday, 29 July 2013

Today we have the latest lamb and some more Alvin.

Little Morgan was born on the 15th, half an hour old in this pic. He was born breech, which means his back legs came out first. When that happens they can suffocate because the head is still inside when the umbilical cord parts and they can't start breathing like in a normal birth. Seeing back feet rather than front I slipped in and helped a little. It was a good feeling to see him start to breath and shake his head :-)

His Mum, Max, is our elderly sheep. So old she has no teeth. I thought she was too old to get pregnant again, but where there's a will there's a way. She's in great condition because being hand fed means she doesn't have to work to find food, so she will be able to raise a single lamb easily.

Alvin is gradually convincing the sheep that he means no harm. His habit of galumphing through the middle of the flock has slowed this process somewhat, and he recieved his own fright yesterday when he got in the way of a sheepalanche and wore a ewe fair in his midriff.

The main components for his e-fence arrived today and with a little luck we may have it installed by the weekend. If his training goes well he will have the run of the farm without the risk of leaving the place and getting run over or shot.

He has such a friendly face, but with some bad dog attacks on sheep fresh in everyone's mind, there is little tolerance for a strange dog crossing other people's land.

Still to come : New chickies and Flora.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Been a long couple of weeks. Have a few updates that I'll do over the next couple of days.

First is Molly.

This was her udder on the Monday morning after the vet visit (have to love a vet that will come at 10pm on a Sunday night).  See that big black blister near her leg ? It got worse ...

 This is now :

We've lost the production on that side, but we beat the gangrene, stopped it from sloughing off, staved off blood poisoning,  and saved her life :-)

In the race having her special feed, where she's been doctored morning and night for four weeks. She still paws at the gate to the yards if I'm late, talk about food motivated !

And her lamb, Sunny, having his special feed :-) He's become very quiet and confident, following his Mum in like he's been doing it all his life. When you come to think of it, he just about has !

Even after all the shots and all the messing around and drenching and milking out that painful udder, she still loves me :-) Here she is waiting at the gate for some scratches :-)

 More to come : Alvin, Morgan, Flora and some new chickies ...

Monday, 8 July 2013

I haven't updated in a while because we've been busy nursing Molly, who has developed necrotic mastitis. It's a nasty infection of the udder and we may lose her. At the very least we will probably lose that side of the udder.

 We have sent one of her lambs (the little ewe lamb Elf) to be a bottle baby at another farm to reduce the stress and drain on her. Luckily her brother still has the other two boys to play with.

Any prayers, good thoughts or well wishes are appreciated.


Lamb races are a wonderful part of dusk at the moment. They race up and down the driveway at full tilt. My camera isn't good enough to capture them in mid leap, but this shot of all four lambs in a race will give you an idea of the fun.

One of the favourite shrubs for the sheep are the wormwood bushes at the front of the house yard. Used to make absinthe, the drink of the green fairy, the leaves are very bitter. I'm not sure if they love them for the anti-worm action or whether they do get a hallucinatory effect ...

Here is Benny having a munch.



This is the latest addition to Oaklands, a 4yo maremma named Alvin. He has come to be the livestock guardian dog for the sheep and chickens.

The chickens are a bit ho-hum, the sheep think he's a wolf in sheep clothing and the cows think he's the scariest thing since the plastic bag blew across the paddock last year.

They gather at the shared fence to bellow at him and mill around pretending to be bulls. In the lower photo you can see his reaction to all the ruckus ...