Shop at Spinner's End Farm

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Under My Desk.... a cardboard box with one of Gaia's lambs in it.

He is a moorit (brown) ram lamb with a white (krunet) patch on his head. Gaia had her two ram lambs in the wee morning hours after I had checked on her, and when I first saw them at 6:00 all seemed well. They were up and nursing out in the field. Her other lamb is HUGE. He is a black gulmoget with a white head, black yuglet eye markings and white legs (sokket in Shetland speak). That lamb is bigger than the three week old ram Maya had. I'm amazed. The little guy in the box is a little smallish but not too small.

It started to rain around 6:30 so I went out to gather Gaia and her lambs up to pen them in a jug. I picked up the two lambs and put them in the pen and Gaia followed and the little brown fella started arching his neck and thrashing and couldn't stand. I gathered him up and brought him inside to see what we could do, not really knowing what the problem was. I figured he was either deficient in selenium or Vitamin B so gave him injections of both and he greedily guzzled four ounces of colustrom from a bottle. I sent my friend and shepherd mentor Karen a text and she quickly texted back that it was a vitamin B deficiency and then climbed the ridge where she has cell service to give me a call to talk me through it. It is nice to have friends like that! :). A vitamin B deficiency in sheep is otherwise known as "polioencephalomalacia" or PEM, or Polio. It causes swelling on the brain which in turn causes convulsions, incoordination, head pressing (backwards onto the spine), and potentially blindness if it isn't treated right away. Hopefully we caught in in time to reverse the effects with the thiamine....apparently it just t ages a few days on average for recovery , if there is to be one.

Keep your fingers crossed!