Saturday, 25 July 2009
Poor Fred.... He hasn't had much luck in his short little life. He was born to an elderly ewe, who had scanned as not in lamb, therefore placed into the flock of barrens. Without the extra care or feed prior to lambing, Fred was tiny when born. He also had weak joints and twisted knees and so was unable to stand to feed, not that his mother was too keen on him anyway.
For the first 48 hours of his life he stayed with his mother and was bottled fed her milk, so at least he did benefit from her colostrum. After that he came to live with us. For the next 6 weeks he lived in the chicken enclosure having regular bottle feeds. He grew up not being quite sure if he was human or chicken, it came as quite a surprise to him when he realised he was in fact a sheep !
After the 6 weeks he was strong enough to join the rest of my tiny flock. His legs had straightened, although his joints were still a little weak - he walks with his feet turned in. This doesn't present a problem, other than he needs his hooves trimming every now and then.
At first there wasn't too much difference in the size of him and Annie's lamb, but after a couple of weeks ( coinciding with stopping his bottle) he started to scour. Despite a course of antibiotics and wormer, he lost condition rapidly.
After weeks of extra feed and care he has just stopped looking like an RSPCA advert for neglect, until yesterday that is ...when he managed to squeeze through the tiniest of gaps to get into the bee enclosure. He was stung on his ear.
So the poor creature now stands in the field, all skin and bones, knock kneed and twisted feet with his bald head sporting a lopsided and swollen ear. The poor thing does look odd, but he stands proud and tall (OK not that tall ) with a spirit and character as large as any best of breed ram. Did I mention he only has one testicle?