12 February 2007

Busy doing ... not a lot of anything, it seems.

It's somehow felt very busy lately, although I can't say that I have much to show for it.

We've come out of 4H public speaking season and are headed into school science project season. The Boy and I were discussing the scientific method tonight, and assorted possibilities for experiments. Personally, I favour a scientific study of which stain remover product actually works best: this is information that I could really use!

Natalie the Icelandic ewe is still looking remarkably huge, she just seems to get bigger and bigger and her belly seems to keep dropping, but no lambs yet. We've had another patch of seriously cold weather, so I'm hoping she holds off until it passes, at least. My current guess, which is still a totally wild guess based on hints, suggestions, and pulling dates from the air, is that she's probably a couple of weeks out yet, but it's so hard to tell. The other ewes are not as obviously pregnant, but I think we'll see a few more lambs come spring time.

We did lose one of the sheep to a mysterious failure to thrive. Baby was never the healthiest lamb, she always seemed a little skinny and runtish. We dewormed her and fed her extra rations, but she just seemed to get thinner and thinner. One day last week, she stumbled on the way to the hay feeder and didn't get back up. The Boy put her on the sled and towed her to the isolation pen where nobody would bother her, and tried to feed her grain and hay. She ate a few mouthfuls, but before long it was clear that she was on her way to greener pastures. She died in the night, so she didn't have to suffer long.

As our 4H sheep leader says, when you have animals, you have death. You do have to be prepared for it, and although some losses are still very hard, others are easier to see as just part of the circle of life. This one wasn't too bad, as we had known for awhile that she probably wasn't going to thrive - if she had by some miracle made it until spring, she would've had to be culled anyway. Still, it's never nice to have a loss. Here's hoping we have some new lambs to take her place before too much longer!

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