Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Not on the Agenda: A Broken Sheep Leg
Well, my morning chores did not pan out as a usual routine. I went to the garden barn to get the grain buckets ready about 8:15. I feed the "boys" first to avoid them getting over excited and pushy. Ripton, my small Shetland horned ram has been pushy lately and taking his head to the gate and barn. He got the heel of my boot square in the head the other day when he decided to challenage me. Anyways, when I went to the gate Rutland was sitting in front of the gate. When I opened the gate he did not move. I poured grain and came over to him, picked him up and set him down slowly to see if he was hurt. Front legs were fine but the back right was not looking good. I gathered him up and brought him outside of the fenced area. When I set him down to see to check it, I could tell it was definitely broke. I got him comfortable, finished feeding, and called the vet. If there is one thing I did right in my life was working part-time for 7 years at a vet clinic that specializes in farm animals. The vet is literally 5 minutes from my house, though the vets will tell you, I never made it to work on time. Having good vets are a blessing when one has animals and they really help me out so much especially in emergencies.
My first concern of course was how bad it was. Bad but because he is small, only 56 #, there is a relative good chance it can be casted and healed up the vet said. The vet and I are thinking that he might have gotten hit and got his leg caught in the gate based on the way the break is. I know it was Ripton who hit him.
I guess this is one of those times were true sheep breeders for a profit and some hobby farmers draw lines on practicality. My sheep are here because I enjoy them. The huge profit idea long left me and since I don't eat lamb and don't sell my sheep for meat, sending Rutland off to the butcher was not an option for me. If I can afford to have it casted, I am willing to try and give him a chance. He is a little sweetie with great fleece and I just couldn't see putting him down.
So he is now getting use to a fiberglass cast. He keeps wanting to extend it straight out behind him but he is adjusting to it. He is eating fine and getting use to his new accomodations. I have him in with 2 little wethers who are very laid back. Rutland is a newly wethered boy also and overall, he is doing ok so far.
My little Rutland has 6 weeks of the cast. I need to monitor swelling and rubbing around the top of the cast and keep it was dry as possible. The ground is frozen solid and as long as the rain doesn't go crazy this weekend, I will hope for the best. The area he is in is safe with no obstacles, the barn/lean-to is well padded with straw and no one to hurt him.
About 3 years ago, my 2 big horned Shetlands got into a fight resulting in one with a back broken leg to the point where the bone was sticking out of the skin. The leg was totally gone and he was euthanized. Recently the other big horned Shetland ram was put down when he became too aggressive and destructive. Ripton is small, probably no more than 65 -70 #s. He is in with Jed and TJ my big Cotswold ram. If he starts showing more aggressive behavior, he is going to go. I am just not going to put up with it. Horned Shetlands is not my objective and I kept Ripton intact because of his genetics BUT...........
Long day, too much stress.
I am suppose to be on vacation and relaxing! And right now my LaMancha buck who jumped the fence twice today, is out trying to figure out how he is going to get in with the girls. He is going to stay out cuz I am in no mood for his stupid antics. The door for his barn is open so if it rains/snows he can go in.....not that he will realize that or be smart enough to jump back over the fence. Maybe the cold snow will do his male parts some good. I am not going to loose sleep over it. He's not going anywhere.
Fingers and hoofs are crossed for Rutland and hopefully all will work out for the best and maybe with a little luck New Year's Eve will be stress free............