She has always been a charismatic girl, a sheep with a sense of humor and has run ring round us from day one... the first trick she learned within days was to run with me while I distributed a line of food... opening her mouth under the stream of nuts before they hit the ground... and over the years she's developed a neediness about a month before giving birth, but this year has been worse.
At the beginning of February I went to feed her as usual, but she didn't come down to the bottom of the field with the others.... I went up to her and she didn't stand up... didn't even raise her head... there was something very wrong....... its not like her to refuse food.. quite the opposite! I gave her a cuddle and a stroke and she looked up at me. .much more needy than usual... I got a halter from the car, put it over her nose and ears and led her down the field..... in a circular motion as it happened, she was most indignant about it... eventually reaching the barn where I put her into the mew, part of the barn that is self contained....... then rang the vet.... Davinia came that evening and determined that Mitsie had twin lamb disease.
This is a complaint that pregnant ewes can get if they are either too thin or too fat, and their developing lambs take too much nutrient from the mother who can't keep up with it.. it makes them feel terrible, and if left undiagnosed can knock them off their legs..... in Mitsie's case, she's too fat!!
We were advised to give her some molasses as a quick energy boost and then 2 or 3 times a day a high energy drench, which looks like ribina!...Mitsie wasn't fussed about the molasses, so I forced 5 or 6 handfuls down her, it had an almost instant effect and she stood up demanding some tea... and she has developed a real liking for the drench and now stands while I poke the end of a 50 ml syringe in the side of her mouth and gently squeeze it over her tongue... a very slatherly affair! This combined with daily massages and lots of her favorite foods have kept her going all month.
The thing is that Mitsie isn't having twins this year, she's expecting triplets... so we know she's going to be trouble.........
............ to be continued