Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sad Day

I went to check on the sheep for the evening and found ram 3 had died. He never did show much improvement after the second vet visit. He wasn't eating, wouldn't take a bottle and didn't seem to respond even to tube feedings.
Today he wasn't getting up, was breathing rapidly, and laying his head back on his chest. Every once in a while he would lift up his head and move it around. He must have just died before I went out since he was still warm.
His mother, Moose, was very upset when I moved ram 3 out of the pen. She is up there now pacing around looking for him and calling.

So, to find the good in all of this (I sure hope this gets easier as I don't think this will be the last time we have a sheep die) here are some things that I learned throughout ram 3's illness:
1. I have great vets. They come quickly in an emergency, are knowledgeable, and reasonably priced.
2. I found a great farm store, Weaver's Farm Supply near Fleetwood, PA. They have nearly every livestock healthcare supply item you could want at great prices. Better than Tractor Supply!
3. The dose of pennicillin for a 36 pound lamb is 1 ml.
4. No matter how hard it is to do, I must make sure a ewe is milked out if her lambs are not able to nurse.
5. I have gotten pretty good at tube feeding, although it helps greatly to have an extra pair of hands with a larger lamb.
6. I need a stanchion and a lamb creep. This site has some plans I am studying for ideas. 
7. I need to learn to perform a necropsy. The vets had a couple of theories as to what ailed ram 3 and I do as well, but a necropsy may have given the answer. My daughter and I will be taking a lambing clinic on March 14th and there will be a vet demonstrating a necropsy. Hopefully, we will be allowed to take photos. So much to learn, so much to learn.


  1. It's always so tough to lose them, especially the young ones. Frustrating too, because they can't tell you what's going on. Interesting about the lambing clinic and learning to do a necropsy. Being able to figure things out would be so helpful in the future.

  2. We are looking forward to the lambing clinic. There is so much to learn! I have been enjoying reading your blog for all the great info.