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.