Storm Doris arrived this morning but we seemed to miss most of the damage. A lot of branches were down and strewn over the road but only a couple of old trees in the wood were actually down. Doris must have brought down some power lines as we lost the electricity. However, as we have the woodburners and the range, we had heat, hot water and the ability to cook. The addition of a battery powered radio meant we thought we had a quiet relaxing day ahead of us. Unfortunately the sheep had other plans for us.
While checking the fences I noticed one ewe who was keeping herself apart from the flock. I thought she might be starting to labour but could not see any signs she had begun. On checking, a bit later, it was clear she was much worse. She was down and unable to rise and was not aware of her surroundings. I thought she had twin lamb disease and gave her the high energy drink. This had only partial effect and we decided on a trip to the vets.
She had decided to take unwell half a mile from the road and we would have to lug her to the pick-up. This was no easy task (she weighs around 9 stores) but I found that a builder’s sack made this manageable with a mixture of lifting and dragging. I am now going to keep a couple of builders’ bags ready for emergency stretcher use.
The vet agreed with us and it was clear that she was beginning to respond to the drink. She gave some subcutaneous calcium and with the combination of the two she made good headway and we started for home.
En route home we noticed that a sheep, we had seen on the town journey, was stuck in an awkward position an hour later. After climbing up a wall, crossing a small river (engorged by storm Doris) I was able to get to her. She was trapped but easily freed.
By the time we got home and returned the ewe to her flock she was much improved. We moved her and her fellows into the top field where there is hopefully more browse. She was back on her legs and moving well. Now all we have to do is wait for the lambing to start next week.