Thursday, April 30, 2009

Goodbye, Pretty Princess Penelope

It turns out that I don't have a good picture of Penelope. she's the almost all-white sheep in the back of this shot. I thought she was so pretty, with her big white strip down her face, I named her Pretty Princess Penelope.

One of the stall doors was left unlocked in the barn. The sheep got into the tack room and demolished the chicken feed bags in there. We have many many sick sheep today - some just don't look good, most are having elimination issues, if I can try to use a euphomism there. But it was too much for Penelope. Too much chicken feed can give them bloat. Penelope died last night. She was a sweet sweet little sheep. Goodnight, my sweet sheep.

There are a few repercussions of this. Good for one little lamb, bad for another. Here is Daisy Maisy. This is Penelope's lamb. She now has no mommy. The lambs are old enough now that they are eating grass and drinking water - but Daisy Maisy is looking for a momma sheep that isn't to be found anymore. The lambs are still nursing and Daisy Maisy has no where to turn. She's old enough that she is scared of us, so catching her to give her a bottle will be hard.

However, because we are trying to bring our flock to 12 ewes year round - we got to pick another female to keep. The pity in my heart wants me to keep Daisy Maisy. But Penelope was one of our smaller ewes, and she got sick and died. Do we keep her off spring? Larry thought we should keep one of our bigger sheep's lambs. We could keep one of Laverne's lambs - we know she is a stout and strong sheep. We could keep Marcia's ewe, since she is big and had triplets - but she also rejected 2 of her lambs. So we decided to keep Fat Cindy's ewe lamb. So we will keep Pebbles to replace Penelope. Here is little Pebbles with her momma, Cindy.

I am so sad to say goodbye to another of our ewes. It breaks my heart. It makes me feel like a bad farmer and a failure. We failed her. If she hadn't eaten the chicken feed, she would still be with us, and still be there for Daisy Maisy. I'm not a happy shepherd today.