Wednesday, 23 April 2014

NOT a good day!

Hello Friends.
Welcome to Madeline on Bloglovin and.Tracey, a new follower from Australia, who seems to have a similar gardening style to me. It will interesting to read about her planting while we are harvesting and vice versa.

   Let's get the bad news over with. One of our lambs has died. Arkwright happily took his bottle on Sunday morning and gamboled off into the field with his brother and the other two lambs. By lunchtime he was nowhere to be seen and we finally found him standing hunchy-backed in the corner of the field. I bought him in and offered him a various treats and drinks, which he didn't want and just stood around. I put him under a heat lamp, bringing his brother in to keep him company. Arkwight's brother Archie is very small and quite weak, so Arkwiright being the poorly one was surprising. Throughout the evening I gave Arkwright warm water and warm milk by syringe and a herbal medication to settle his stomach which I rubbed to try to help his digestion.
 I went out to see him during the night but he just stood around looking mournful and in the morning he was dead.
 Many years ago you often buried something as small as a dead lamb, or indeed a  hen. This is no longer allowed and any dead farm stock must be disposed of by a fallen stock man or abattoir which have the facilities to incinerate. As it was a Bank Holiday the Environmental Health Offices were closed, so with the help of good old Google I finally found a local Fallen Stock Farmer. We agreed that I would take the lamb to his farm and he would only charge me £5 ! Later in the day I took poor little Arkwright to this farm (don't want to write anymore about that).
 After finding Arkwright, bottling the other three and turning them out into the paddock I set about feeding the hens. The morning didn't get any better when I found a chick born the day before, dead in the run,  with her mother running around squawking. I will never know what happened here.

 I spent the day gardening and trying to spot how Barmy Bonce was escaping from the orchard run. In the afternoon ED , her daughter and husband arrived with a trailer full of horse manure. After unloading this we had a sprockled-together meal of leftovers with bubble and squeak and eggs. YGD was upset about Arkwright so we had some cuddles and I didn't tell her about the chick.

 After the family went home I took Arkwright and then returned home to sit in front of my PC and visit Blogland. I managed to write a post and then sat down to watch Jamaica Inn. I read the book years ago and had been looking forward to watching it. It was very difficult to watch as the inside scenes were so dark you struggled to see what was going on and the Actors mumbled and whispered so that it was difficult to hear it all too. I determined I would try again tomorrow (the second of three nights) and was glad that I already knew the story, otherwise I reckon I would have been completely in the dark.
 After Jamaica Inn I was filling the dishwasher and getting the morning bottles ready when there was a knock at the door. It was my neighbour P.asking if I would mind looking at his ewe who was in labour. He was not happy with how it was going.
Off we set in the pitch dark to see how Millie was doing. P. has been keeping sheep for four years now with half a dozen ewes and has had no trouble before. I have kept sheep for over thirty years and have been on Min of Ag lambing courses, so felt pretty confident to give some opinion.
Long story short, he was right to be worried and after attempting to manipulate the HUGE lamb, whose head (only) was out, tongue sticking out and very alive. I recommended we get the vet. He arrived within an hour, which was very good considering the distance he had to travel and it was eleven o'clock at night. After trying to correct the presentation he had to give the ewe an epidural to relax her enough to manipulate the lamb out. By midnight George was born and a big strapping lad he is too!. Back over the wall to a stiff scotch, a mug of hot milk and my bed, the irony of the difference between the beginning and end of my day not being lost on me!
Incidentally, The vet was FIT!!! ..or so P's wife tells me, I can't say as I noticed (ahem)
 In comparison yesterday (Tuesday) was pretty tame, with lots of visitors and very little done in the garden because of this ! The only downer being that Archie is still not too strong, but at least he is grazing, drinking and cudding.

 Today has been an interesting one, with yet again our plans to finish off the greenhouse and get some root crops planted  scuppered  because...One of our hives Swarmed !!!! It was very difficult to gather because of where they settled and many bees went back to the original hive. We have, however housed a very small swarm which we have fed and will watch to see if it is strong enough to survive. If it does it will be a real bonus.

I realise it is eleven o'clock and I still have much to do before bed. I had better close this post and promise that my next will be of a lighter nature !

Happy Saint George's Day to you all (what is left of it!)
Gillx

 







20 comments:

  1. Wow, what a day. That is heartbreaking about Arkwright as he was clearly well cared for. I know (from watching Countryfile!) that young lambs can sometimes struggle but that must have been awful and then the chick as well. Thank goodness you were there for your neighbour and I've also learned sheep can get epidurals!! Hope things improve for you.

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    1. Thanks
      I didn't know about epidural for sheep either! I He said "I'm going to give her an epudural" "For the pain?" I asked. "To relax her cervix, so that I can manipulate the lamb with more ease " He replied "Oh!" I said and shut up.

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  2. My goodness, what a week you have been having. Hope things calm down, Archie starts to thrive and you can get into your garden.

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    1. Archie is looking a lot better today, but I've been lulled into a false sense of security before! The weather has been warm and sunny but wind and rain are forecast, which are killer conditions for lambs. My fingers and toes are crossed.
      Thanks for commenting
      Gill

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  3. Sorry to hear about your losses. It's always sad. I hope the rest of your week is brighter.

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    1. Thanks Tracey. Been into the bees today and they are looking Good, which always uplifts us. Supered one of the hives today and are getting ready to super a couple more, which is the earliest we have ever done that.
      Gill

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  4. 'Sprockled-together'?

    Sorry to hear about your lamb and chick; I hate losing animals, I always feel as if it had been my fault.

    I've been in several films, but the one I remember most was The Duallists. I couldn't believe how so many of the actors whispered their lines, you couldn't hear what they were saying from just a few feet away. I even asked the sound man if they had to re-do the sound later, but he just said that his kit was very sensitive! 'Diction' is a dying art.

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    1. No clear definition really "made do" doesn't quite get it , but close!
      I also feel responsible and wonder what else I could have done.
      You must post about the films you have been in!
      Apparently, I was not alone in thinking that the production was poor. there were many emails and tweets complaining. The whole production appeared to be for the actors, with the audience left out, un-needed by the grand thespians!

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    2. Lovies, darling. All lovies.

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  5. Oh dear! What a horrible few days, sorry to hear about the lamb and baby chick, what a shame x

    I started watching Jamaica Inn and I found it the same, dark, quiet and really slow, I only managed the first episode!

    I hope the sun is shining for you today and you have a brighter week.
    Karen xx

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    1. Today has been a much better day! The sun has shone, another chick as been born and we have gone through the bees to find that they are so strong as to need extra (for storing honey) frames adding.
      Thanks for your good wishes
      Gill

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  6. Just a quiet day on the smallholding then?!
    Sorry to hear about your lamb - we were told when we started keeping sheep that they often have a death wish.
    All the news yesterday was about the mumbling on Jamaica Inn. Some people used subtitles to see what they were saying.
    Hope your neighbours lamb is OK and the rest of your week gets better

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    1. Yes, same old same old!!
      lambs (and kids) don't seem to fight when they are unwell, they just sort of just give up don't they?
      George the lamb from next door is very well and he now has two cousins to play with as Millie's sister had twins this morning.
      Today was MUCH better thanks
      Gill

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  7. So very sad. I'm sure that no matter how long you've kept animals for, it doesn't get any easier. Thank goodness you were there to help your neighbour, a bit of experience can go a long way. Glad to hear that George was born big and strong, keeping my fingers crossed that Archie gets his strength up soon.

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    1. You are right, it never gets any better. I guess if it ever does it will be time to give up!
      George is doing well and now has two cousins to play with too (born this morning)
      Archie looked better today as the sun was shining and it was warm. I think I have done all I can, they have had all their injections etc and I am bringing them in at night to keep warm and be safe from the fox.
      Thanks for your concern
      Gill

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  8. sorry to hear about your losses. really sad.i hope the rest of the week is better.
    wish you a sunny day,
    regina

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    1. Thanks Regina. it has been a lovely sunny day today and things look much better.
      Gill

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  9. Goodness, I'm reading that post and my head is spinning! How do you fit it all I'm? I'm really sorry to hear about your lamb and little chick. Nature's a funny thing, quite cruel at times I think x

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  10. This post actually covered three days so wasn't too bad if you divided stuff into three!. Yes nature often throws stuff at us, but then the next day there are so many good things to appreciate that we can't stay down for long can we?
    Gill

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