Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sheep & Goats Come & Go

"L" counted up the "new sheep" posts and figures that I have quite a large flock now. Not the case. In real life, sheep come & go for a variety of reasons. In actuality, the flock number is presently 10. Four of the females are pregnant, so the flock numbers will be increasing shortly, I hope. 

As a flock owner, I've had to come to terms with flock dynamics. While sometimes I've been the one to initiate an animal leaving the flock ( sold, given away, or harvested for food), often animals are lost against my wishes.....
...natural death. Just recently I lost my original, elderly ram. He had become feeble, thus his death was expected. A natural occurance. 
...death due to predation. Dog attack! Over the years I've had a number of sheep killed by stray dogs. Some were maimed so badly that I had to humanely dispatch them. 
...lost. The entire flock busted out through a vog damaged section of fencing. All were recaptured except one, which was never tracked down. 
...death due to health problems. Early on I lost a lamb due to internal parasites, that is, worms. And I've lost a couple to flystrike. These were before I learned how to successfully handle these problems. Also lost one to pneumonia which didn't respond to medications. 
...death due to pregnancy complications. Lost my favorite ewe to complications delivering her lambs. 
...theft. Happily I haven't experienced this yet. But some flock owners around have had the problem. 

The ebb and flow of flock numbers is a normal part of having a flock. No flock owner wants to lose an animal, but it happens. I've lost a few in the past, and I expect to lose a few in the future. Life on a homestead isn't all lollipops and sunshine. 

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