Today was the first day of my new job, although it feels like it was days ago now, and it went well I think I’m going to really enjoy it.
Felix is now being weaned and is living in the kitchen with Jake our oldest Jack Russel who knows all about looking after lambs and goat kids (they have bottles and then have to have their mouths licked clean, they also sometimes dance around of you when you’re trying to sleep but it’s worth it for the mouth cleaning dutie.) He’s doing well and is feeding from the bottle like that’s what he’s been doing from birth. Niff doesn’t seem to be missing him too much either and seems quite happy to be back with her friends, this was not the plan but…
On my way home from work I saw a sheep with two new-ish lambs in the next village down from us. The Forest of Dean does have free-roaming sheep, I should know muma turns a flock out, but sheep aren’t normally there. When I got in muma was on the phone trying to find out who the sheep belong to as a neighbour had called in to let us know that there was a ewe down the road and it had a very big udder. Muma and my middle-sister went down the road to have a look and the ewe did have a big udder, so big she could hardly walk. After about 20 minutes of not having any luck at all finding out whose sheep it was or whose it might be we (me, muma & middle-sister) decided we’d go and have a look and see if it had a ear tag in.
We went and had a look and she did have an ear tag in and seemed ok in herself but we were doubtful she would be able to feed the lambs and she wouldn’t stay ‘ok’ for long if she was left. She was also on a busy road so we decided to walk her into a quiter road and try to chatch her to get the ear tag number. She was real good and walk quitely with her lambs, only looking out into the main road once like she might walk out, into the side road (that leads to our village) and carried on walk up the mile. She stopped in a drive way with gate and we thought that we might catch her there but NO chance, she wasn’t going to stand for that so she carried on up the road. The drive way owner came out to see what we were up to, she’d been hanging round he’s gate and the main road since 6pm the night before and had an even bigger udder then, he’d called the police and the RSPCA, twice, but no one had come to do anything even though she was clearly going to need a vet. He offered us the us of his field and holding pen to use if we could round her in there so as we could make sure that she got the treatment that she needed she we decided the best plan was going to be to catch her, make sure the lambs got a bottle and call our vet.
The ewe had carried on up the road whilst we’d been talking so off we went after her. By the time we did she knew what we were up to and REALLY wasn’t going to be caught by these complete strangers for anything. She’d also been a bit spooked by cars going up and down the road. It took me and my sister a good half and hour to catch her, running up and down the hill, with muma stood waving at the traffic to slow. We only finally managed to because some other neighbours who keep sheep arrived and knew enough about what sheep are like to do to help. Anyone who keeps sheep will know what I mean, you can guess what they’re likely to do but only if you know sheep and very few people seem too or care enough to help. Everyone else who stopped just seemed to think ‘someone else’ would sort it.
So the ewe and her lambs are now safe in Niff’s house, I’ve spoken to the vet and he’s told us what to give her, she’s had her first injection adn the lambs and had a bottle. She does have milk but I wouldn’t think it’s much.
Niff has been milked, for the first time ever, and moved back in with her friends so we had somewhere warm and cosy to put the ewe and lambs, the plan was meant to be that she would stay in her own house until she was fine with being milked but that’s just not how things have worked out.