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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Nightwatch, we barely knew ye...




So I went out to feed today, and did my usual routine of watching everyone tuck into their hay. A sheep that isn't eating is usually either in labor, or not feeling well.

The Shetland rams bounded out of their calf huts, or their nesting places in the pasture to have their dinner. Something was wrong, where is Nightwatch?


He didn't appear. I knew when I jumped the fence and went looking what I would find.
Nightwatch had passed away.


Tucked in a calfhut, curled in a comfortable sleeping position with his head tucked over his back, just like he was sleeping. I started to cry. My sweet, soft, precious, gentle kangaroo boy.

He was stiff, and the vet said it was too late to do a necropsy. He was in good flesh, and was not scouring. He was out of the wind. I don't know if he chilled from the lack of belly wool, but it was only just below freezing. It was a lot colder over the winter. He has been on the same deworming protocol as the rest of my rams, a double dose of Valbazan every two months. The Shetlands are all fine.

Should I have been de-worming him more?


So I don't know Nightwatch died. I don't know what this means for my budding mule breeding program, other than the fact that I can't breed mules without a BFL ram, and as of right now, I don't think I'll replace him. I may keep a mule son out of one of my Cluns for freezer lamb. No hurry to make a decision right now.

12 comments:

kristi said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. It is so frustrating not knowing esp. when you think you crossed all your t's and dotted all your i's. I don't think I will ever stop learning about the circle of life on the farm. Please know I am thinking of you.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

ARG! The not knowing why is so hard! Of course, so is knowing; it's the LOSING them, regardless, that is hard. I'm so sorry....

Sharrie said...

It has all been said, but I send my condolences,too. That is so hard.

Garrett808 said...

aw buddy....I'm so terribly sorry. He was a handsome boy, and I have his son Burma and two ewes out of him.....so his legacy is strong here. May there be many mule lambs out running the pastures this spring by him.

*BIG HUGS* (and I give big ones!)

G

Franna said...

What a shame, I'm so sorry.

Is there any chance they boys were bashing too hard? If it was parasites, you should have seen a decline or something....

Hugs from Auburn, too,
Franna

Nancy K. said...

I'm so sorry, Jules! I know how much you love all your animals.

Sending you big hugs...

Juliann said...

Thank you for the condolences, everyone.
Garrett, I didn't know he had get on the ground, and that does make me feel better.
Franna, he wasn't plump, but he wasn't thin, either. I could feel his backbone, but he had a good layer of fat over his ribs. (Brenda told me they do lose some condition over the winter). No scouring. His eyelid membranes were white, but I don't know if that was anemia, or the blood pooling to dependant areas of his body when his heart stopped.
He was alert, eating, and active the day before he died. I didn't see or feel any head trauma.
I wanted to have him necropsied, but my vet likes to do them when they are very fresh.

Jen and Rich Johnson said...

I'm really sorry to hear about this! I know how hard you work at making sure everyone is well cared for and healthy! No one does it better than you do! I just wanted to let you know we were thinking about you!

Rich

Becky Utecht said...

Oh Juliann, I'm so sorry to read about this. I know how those sweet BFL boys can grow on a person. What a shock it would be lose one like that. So sorry, I'm hoping you get lots of colorful mule lambs this spring.

Kara said...

I am so sorry Juliann! It has been a bad week here too, I have a pony that is on the decline and a vet here all week and coming back again today. It is so hard when you work so hard and care so much, to lose any. This after losing Ock is heartbreaking.

Theresa said...

I am sorry to hear your boy passed away. That is awful, especially not knowing why. Hang in there!

Rayna said...

Aww sorry hun :(