01 June 2009

4-H Achievement Day

Today was the annual 4-H Achievement Day, but it was different than the previous years as we had no animals to go with us. All our sheep have been exposed to orf (contagious ecthymia, basically, cold sores on sheep) and pink eye (same as in humans) and although both are fairly mild illnesses, they are not ones you want to share with other flocks, so our critters are home under quarrantine.

The Boy, however, went along to help, and was in the show ring leading lambs for other kids who had mama sheep with babies, and one of the other members loaned him a sheep to use for the showmanship classes. He did an excellent job in showmanship - one of the best performances I've seen him give! - and took second in the two classes he competed in.

We are home now and enjoying the late sunshine - it's almost solstice, and it is very nice to have such warm sunlight so late in the day.


  1. Oh . . I miss those late hours of sunshine!! Way to go with the showmanship!!

    Love, AC

  2. Anonymous1:31 pm

    How did they get exposed?
    Have you had any symptoms or are you just playing it safe?

  3. We had two sheep leave the farm and come back - one went to a public livestock show, and that's where we picked up the pink eye ... in hindsight, taking her was probably great for the kids who got to meet a friendly sheep, but too much of a biosecurity risk. We quarrantined her for a few days back at home, but not long enough obviously, and a few have pink eye now - nothing too serious, but we have a few crusty faces.

    We also had a ram who went out to service another flock, and it was either him or the ewe who brought home the orf. We have a bunch of sheep with marks on their faces, but so far no udder problems, and the lambs are all either big enough to be ok with the few sores they have on their lips or were born after the outbreak and seem to have picked up immunity from their mamas and are unaffected.

    So, yeah, we've got symptoms - the market lamb for 4-H has a few (almost healed) orf sores on his face, but no pink eye ... but still, orf is not only contagious to other sheep but is zoonotic so ... best to keep him and everyone else at home.

    It should all wind up in a few weeks - everyone's healing up nicely, and with the better weather and them soon to be out on pasture, it should all sort itself out fairly soon.

    Although that one ewe might need drops in her eyes yet ... we'll give it a few days & see.

  4. Anonymous9:46 pm

    WE are glad the BOY did so well at competition - and sorry his market lamb couldn't attend. Great that he could still contribute to the 4H event - giving in the community is what keeps the world going around!
    Congratulations Boy!
    G and GA


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