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............

14 comments:

Barb said...

Well, the good thing is that you were home on vacation. Imagine what your day would have been like if you had school. (Just trying to cheer you up?) Poor little Rutland. Give him a hug and a good scratch....and another hug for good measure.

Stay Dry!! ( We have rain, fog, freezing rain, snow and plummeting temps predicted for WI...joy.)

Nancy K. said...

Oh Kristi! I'm so sorry for your awful day. Poor Rutland. I'm sure he'll bless you with many yummy fleeces to repay your taking such good care of him. I hope he heals quickly and without problems...

Michelle said...

What a lousy way to spend of a day of your vacation - for both of you! I hope he' a good little patient and heals up fine - and I hope Ripton shapes up or finds a breeding home ASAP.

Karen said...

Rutland,

We hope you feel better, and get well soon!

Love,
Eliza, George, Hershey, and Timothy

Sharrie said...

Sending best wishes for a speedy uneventful recovery for your little guy.

Christine said...

Wow, I'm glad the vet was able to cast it. Hope he heals up well and that you get to enjoy the rest of your vacation.

Tammy said...

Just the kind of day you hate to see happen! I'm glad things worked out that you have the vet so near and willing to work with you. As for rams--horned or otherwise--blech!!! My polled merino ram has been rotten all his live long life. When I had the shetland ram(s) I just barely managed to keep them under control. Now that the merino ram is ten, he isn't too much concern--otherwise I'm definitely enjoying my 'ram-free' year here at the farm. As far as casting the little guy--I'm with you all the way. We all go into our sheep raising with different goals and ideas and if we want to 'throw' money after what others might see as silly, then we can. No regrets here when I make those decisions. Heres hoping that everything goes well for the little guy and he heals quickly w/out complications. Take care.
Tammy

Susan said...

Poor little guy, though he's lucky to have you for his sheperdess. Maybe a little mole skin at the top of his cast will help with rubbing? Oh, or a wool pad LOL

kristi said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by! Rutland is doing good this morning and was quite excited about his extra ration of grain:) He promises to keep everyone posted on him being a good patient!

thecrazysheeplady said...

Crap. At least you were there. I'm impressed with the cast! And you are right, his size is to his very best advantage.

Barb said...

Thanks for the update. I was going to ask how our little guy was today.

Rain here in WI today......really, really icky in the barnyard but what can I do but complain and be thankful I have good muck boots.

Stay Well......all of you!

Shula said...

I hope he heals quickly and successfully. What a lousy way to spend the first day of your vacation. Those horned rams really test the limits sometimes.

Vermont Grand View Farm said...

You are so fortunate to have a vet 5 minutes away and to work for the vet!!! Never take that for granted! When we had a lamb break a front leg due to being slammed by a very jealous older ewe-we casted it ourselves using PVC piping, fleece, and tape. It healed just fine and within two weeks she was out running with the rest of the lambs. I hope his leg heals as easily and quickly.

Kara said...

Poor Rutland...what is it with broken legs? Those boys need to learn to fight fair if at all, not this cheap shot stuff. Hope it all works out and he is better soon. Have a great New Year Kristi!