Friday, March 07, 2014

Warming Up

Back from Cooperstown and the last test for the winter.  After years of under utilizing the magnificent benefits of my teacher's insurance I am finally taking advantage and getting myself checked out.  It took getting turned away from a blood donation to get me started.  I made a stab at it five years ago when a friend my age died suddenly of blood cancer, but, being the exceptionally healthy person that I am, I quickly forgot about things like annual exams, etc.   I am very fortunate that, God forbid, if anything happened to me my kids would be just fine.  Not so my farm.  My farm needs me.  My sheep need me.  My dogs need me, and so it goes.  I got lost on the way back from Bassett Hospital.   Went about forty miles out of my way.   Easy to do in upstate New York.  The roads just go on and on through beautiful wide open spaces with a sign every now and then.  Yes, there is one of those machines that tell you where to turn,etc. in the glovebox but yours truly didn't hook it up.   Luckily it's a gorgeous, warmish day with blinding sun on a slushy snow-cone snow.  I did pass a Price Chopper and was able to pick up some apples for my beloved Lilly.  Four dollars for three pounds of apples?   89 cents for a lemon?  How do people live????  I have a sick sheep - my purebred Bluefaced Leicester ewe.  She got out of the sheep pen and the dogs chased her into the duck pen.  She looked very comfortable there and was able to snack on the duck corn so I left her in there for the weekend.  I needed help getting her back to where she belongs and spouse is more amenable to doing more than chores on the weekend.   Yesterday - when it was TWENTY BELOW outside, and 18 F. inside the barn, I found her lying down with her ears back.  On closer examination I found some discharge from her nose.  Looks like pneumonia to me so I started immediately on LA200, B complex, and Nutri-Drench.  I covered her with an Army blanket last night, as BFL's don't have much wool to begin with, and she was lying on the cold hay pack.  This morning she was still there, with the blanket on, and her head up.  Always a good sign - head up.  I gave her more shots and made her drink some warm molasses water.  Sure hope I don't lose her.  I had a terrible falling out with my vet three years ago - can hardly speak about it still - and haven't found a new one.  Truth be told, I don't know what vets could do more than an experience shepherd, besides give you the meds you need.  This sheep is not a spectacularly fantastic girl.  She never gave me a decent lamb.  I love her, and she's pretty as a ballerina, but carries about two pounds of wool, soaking wet.  Was hoping to breed her to a heavier wooled ram, but she didn't care for my hefty Zack.  Zack is now in heaven so there's no chance there.  Better get out to the barn to check on her and the pigs, who are growing in leaps and bounds.  True to the Tamworth breed, they are tall, long and lean.  They break out every day, but march back into their pen for feeding at night.  They know to wait for breakfast before they break out when I'm at work.  I love the girls, and don't plan on bringing them to see Miss Tammy for a while.  I have to buy a freezer, as the old one that spouse brought home from a job site years ago had died.  Just my luck it died with a lot of old Zack inside it, and is still that way in the tractor shed.  I'm afraid to move it.    A new freezer would be put closer to the house.  I plan on taking one piggy to Eric and Annie's this spring.  I like the idea of feeding my family.  I better line up some new piglets before that happens, or I will go into serious pig withdrawal.

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