Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Bummer

I will start by saying Mother Nature can be a real bitch sometimes. Pardon the curse word, but that is how I am feeling today.

We had 70 degree weather on Sunday. Monday it did not get out of the 30's. Last night we had to pile up lots of hay for the cows to stay warm, cows who have shed their winter coats.

The pasture meat chicks piled on top of each other so badly and frantically that three got smashed to death. I spent some time lowering their brood lights and piling warm, dry hay under them to keep them warmer. It worked too, because they were all happy and healthy this morning.
Usually I have them outside by this age (with a brood light), but this winter weather has caused them to spend one more week in the garage in brooders.

The piglets seem to handle the cold fine. We bought 2 more over the weekend, bringing our total up to 4. I gave them lots of hay to bed down inside their shelter. They were happy and healthy this morning when I brought to them a breakfast of warm, raw milk.

The real dilemma in all of these events is that Lila lambed early Friday morning. We have been keeping a close eye on her, but she decided to lamb in the wee hours of the morning. We found her when we went out to milk the cows. She had triplets, however two were dead, still covered in membrane. The surviving lamb was attempting to get up, but Lila was far off on the other side of the area, not interested at all in her lamb. We scooped the lamb up and brought her inside to dry her off and get her started on some colostrum. I realize that the real stuff from Lila would be best, but we wanted to make sure we got warm fluids down the baby. It was a cold, windy morning.

The lamb did well and we brought her back out to see if we could get her nursing. After a couple of days and numerous failed attempts, we now have a bummer lamb in the house with us.
She is cute, sweet and the girls named her Flicka.

She did fantastic for 2 days, and then she suddenly fell ill. She was lethargic, had a temp, and wouldn't eat. We called the vet and gave her a shot of antibiotic ourselves. By evening, she had severe labored breathing. I knew that she would likely die over night.

To my surprise, she was still alive by morning and still breathing quite rapidly. We decided that since we are all now attached to the little thing, that a vet visit was warranted. We took her in and the vet gave her fluids, an antibiotic, a fever reducer, and he tube fed her milk. We brought her home with more meds, but by afternoon she was more herself and would take her bottle once again.

I am very pleased to say that she woke up several times last night to eat and this morning she is a healthy, playful lamb.

The vet has no idea what infection she was suffering from, but the treatment was the same. Her lungs were clear, she had no scours, she had no joint inflammation. She simply did not get a good start in life by nursing and being with her mama.

It was quite stressful for me, having to deal with such a sweet critter who was sick. Lambs are quite fragile and we are not totally out of the woods with her yet, but it is looking positive.

Now, all I need is for the warm weather to show up and stay. A spring without tornados would be nice too.

So here is Flicka, the bummer lamb. Here's hoping the temp outside rises today. I hope you are warm where ever you are this morning, and that Mother Nature is being kind.

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

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