Thursday, February 4, 2016

It's been a tough week

We started off Sunday with the news that Larry's Aunt Annie had passed away. Pardon my French,but this was one badass of a woman. Part of a generation that grew up on a farm. She didn't think twice about getting out a bone saw, cutting a turkey in half and saving the other half for Christmas, when we showed up on Thanksgiving with a homegrown turkey that was well too big for our little family. She's going to be missed.
This is Annie with Shannon (and me) at her first Birthday party.

This is Annie and Shannon at Thanksgiving in 2014, when Annie had just gotten out of a long stay at the hospital. 

So we have finished off a bad week with some farm losses, too. 

Cindy had babies this week. One is doing great.The other needed help being born and just never had any energy. We helped him out with some bottle feeding, but he just never seemed to get it. When his lethargy spread to one of Shirley's triplets,Gummy, we brought them both in the house to see if we could feed them more and keep them warm. It didn't help. They both passed away in a box next to my bed overnight. That next morning, Pebbles, one of our mamas, was breathing so heavy, she sounded like a growling dog. And I mean a NASTY growling dog. I got some penicillin, thinking maybe she had a respiratory infection and it might help.

 You might recognize this picture, it's from the year she was born. That's her brother BamBam (the white one) in that picture.  She was born in 2009, to Cindy. She's not a stellar performer, but we've never had any real issues with her. She was always calm, gave us 7 lambs in her time, and never abandoned a baby or had  a stillbirth. 

This is Pebbles just earlier in January, with her lamb, Celestia. She was always a strong and healthy sheep. Now we have another orphaned baby to feed (although, she seemed to be drinking from Meg when I got home today).
We went to work this morning, thinking in a few hours, if she had a respiratory infection, she would start to get some relief from the antibiotic. When I got home from work tonight, I should have known when a random lamb (not so random, it was Celestia) was running around baaing and looking for food, when I was looking to feed Pipsqueak and Spike, that something was afoot.  Being dark by the time I got to the barn, and our barn lights currently burned out, I looked all over for her. Ran back to get a flashlight and I looked at every sheep in the barn, looking for that little bracelet of white around her front leg... and I didn't find it. So I ran around the corral in the dark looking to see where she might be. She had laid down in a corner, in the snow, all by herself. I am heartbroken.  She wasn't our best mama, just middle of the road with lamb size, but she never gave me any issues. The only thing I won't miss about her is that we had to shear her on occasion. 

And if you think all of this is bad news, wait until my next post, where we struggle with the idea of culling Shirley, our oldest and first sheep. This is not my favorite winter.