Sheep diaries - Fatty's fate

Last time I wrote [Sheep diaries - Our first lambs], the fate of Fatty and her triplets hung in the balance. We had intervened to save one lamb and successfully returned it to her. This felt like a triumph, given what we had heard about mothers rejecting lambs that had been handled by people. Her familiarity with us may have been a factor in her acceptance of the lamb, but it is hard to know.

Sadly, this success was tempered by the discovery of the lifeless body of the last - and smallest - of the triplets on the second morning.

And the danger of more fatalities was not over yet. Fatty was not well. She was lethargic, had no appetite and her front leg was obviously causing her pain. This meant that she was not getting up as much as she should have been to feed her lambs. It was time to call in the professionals! (Well, at least people who knew more about sheep than us.) A call to our farmer neighbours was in order. Within minutes of the call, Lyn was over with an array of sheep-reviving goodies.

We administered Ketol with a drench gun, which helps elevate blood glucose level and accelerates general metabolic function (apparently). Next, we gave her a shot of antibiotics to help with any infection at the "business end". And then there were her feet. We have not yet invested in clippers and so we were very grateful to get help with her pedicure. Next, came the copper sulphate footbath.

Fatty didn't enjoy any of this, but we felt vindicated when the next day we were seeing a visible improvement in her energy levels and mobility. Her remaining lambs, Jet (who had had a brief sojourn inside the house) and Patch (for his white patch on his head) seemed to be thriving.

Today when we go out with the tub of sheep biscuits, she comes running. She is again living up to her name.

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