Tuesday, 20 January 2009


I have spent today helping a friend out with her sheep on her smallholding.We first met when her eldest child was just a few weeks old and I minded him while she worked, often odd hours, as a vet.15 years and 3 more children later we remain good friends and have established a very useful share of skills system.

I still care for her children on odd occasions, deal with any computer work for her, provide her with a pig a year - although her partner fancies giving pig rearing ago himself this year- so I guess it will now be a Christmas turkey and pig advice, but best of all I get to help her with her sheep. She sees it as a huge favour, I see as a great opportunity to gain experience, ask loads of questions and just have a day doing what I love. In return I get all the veterinary advice I could ask for, use of her land for my 2 sheep ( I would love at least 3 - more of a flock then ) whenever I run short of grass or need to wean the lambs and run my ewes with hers at tupping time.She also cares for my dog if I need to go away.So all in all it works really well.

Anyway back to the sheep. She runs 2 small flocks,1 of manx and 1 of zwartbles.Today we brought them in to primarily scan them for lambs but took the opportunity to worm them and check their feet.
A few are looking a bit poor so we also treated them for liver fluke, as they run on quite wet ground and took blood samples from four of the thinnest to test for any deficiencies.

On the way home we stopped by to inject my 2 for fluke, as they were running with hers until a week ago.We also took blood from one of them as she too is a little thin, especially compared to the other. It will be interesting to get the results.

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