The past twenty four hours have been full of surprises in and amongst the scheduled events.
Yesterday we planned to take the alpacas out to their pasture down the road after deworming them. We wormed everyone and then lured about half of them into the trailer. I had planned, upon arrival, to get in the trailer with them and spray them down with fly spray before letting them loose. I forgot though, and just opened the door and watched them sail out into a sea of green. The last alpaca out, Paja Rita (little bird) had a huge triangular gash in her side that I saw as she exited the trailer. Had I got in and done the fly spray I would have noticed this! So here we were with an alpaca we needed to catch on two acres of open field. Not good. We decided to go back for the remaining alpacas and a llama (Llilith this year), and then try again. The divider in the trailer had a piece of sheet metal at the very bottom that sticks out a little and it could be what she cut herself on, so I covered the divider with a heavy blanket. Amazingly, we only had to chase her once across the pasture and I managed to snag her (adrenaline out of fear I'd never get her). Home she came and I called the vet. Fortunately our favorite vet, Dr. Tom, was out doing farm calls in our general neck of the woods so he and their current Vet student on rotation (Jessie I believe) were able to come by and stitch her up.
Paja Rita was knocked out and locally anesthetized for the procedure which took about an hour. She had her tetanus booster and antibiotics as well. She popped right out of it and has been taking it easy today and won't be joining the rest of the herd for a couple of weeks until we take her stitches out. There are two llamas here so she isn't alone with just the sheep.
CeCe and Waters have been in our lives for a long time; and in fact have been a part of our family before the human children arrived. CeCe came to us through a shelter at age 3 and we found Waters along I-75 with a broken leg as a puppy. CeCe would have been 12 in August, which is old for a Newf. She had developed spine and hindquarter issues that have plagued her the past two years and we have been managing them with pain meds, chiropractic adjustments and injections. She was finding it hard these past couple of weeks to move from her favorite spot and was in obvious distress. Waters was 15 and a half years old. He lost his hearing a couple of years ago, had cataracts, a heart murmur and congestive heart failure. He had occasional seizures which were very frightening for him and all of us as well. He was very confused and having a hard time using his hind legs as well. We had decided that it was time for us to let them go to a pain free place despite our knowing our hearts would ache with their loss. It was just too hard to watch them. We had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Tom at the clinic, but decided since he was here that this was probably easier on the dogs. So CeCe and Waters were both euthanized painlessly just outside our back door in a familiar place with lots of pats and kisses from their family and kind words from Dr.Tom and Jessie.
A very wee wren with her dogs.
Just as Will had lowered the dogs into their grave, our sheep shearer pulled in the drive. He graciously puttered around while we did a small eulogy and Will filled in the grave. Our sheep were to be shorn first thing in the morning so Dave showed up the night before which we love so we can have a couple of beers and chat. That felt good after a rather challenging day. Will and Sam also had to skip soccer practice with the alpaca emergency.
So the sheep were shorn at 7:00 am and we were done by 10:30. Many of the fleeces were not in the rise which makes shearing more difficult and the sheep look a bit choppy. Odd for June 11th! You would think physiologically they'd be ready to be done with all that wool. One of the Babydolls was grotesquely obese and then we have chronically skeletal Amey on the other end of the scale. Otherwise it was as expected; Wethers are chubby, open ewes in good condition (most of them), and the breeders a bit on the lean side with lamb demands. I took more pictures, but this is my favorite with Fancy. :). She is still looking good.
I noted two for sure bred ewes from Mull's fence jumping experiment. Both Nala and Deja have big bellies and are starting to develop udders. I suspect that Liz and Faola are also bred probably with single lambs. We should see these summer surprises anywhere from July 7-15th.
Will is just arriving home soaked from putting the alpaca shelter up in the rain. Because of the emergency it just didn't get done. He is a kind and generous man. I am just about to put a hot supper on the table and I'll bet he goes to bed early! We are hoping for a low key weekend....