Yesterday we woke up bright and early to the sound of hooves clattering around inside the house, Belle was up and walking and showing us that she was quite ready to join her flock of friends, so we took her outside and put her in a separate smaller pen with a couple of fellow younger lambs, as she is still somewhat weak on her feet and I feared that maybe the bigger sheep may trample her if she could not get out of the way quick enough. So, Belle in arms Mariana and I walked down the track to go see all of the animals and to do all of the usual morning farm chores. We spent a while with the sheep and everyone was merrily munching away in the meadows.
I had noticed Belles eye was somewhat swollen and a little glassy, right above where she had the graze on her cheek, so we called up our livestock vet. She was due anytime now to vaccinate and tag our sheep and we asked if she would not mind coming a little sooner and taking a look at our bedridden Belle. After just a couple of hours she pulled onto the drive, unloaded her big old box of veterinary apparatus, donned her overalls and we went down to the pen with the lambs.
The vet took a short look at Belle, gave her an injection of antibiotics and another to help the muscles recover in her leg somewhat. Unfortunately we were told that she would likely never walk the same as she used to but as she is eating, drinking and she has full use of her bodily functions then we could still keep her as part of the flock and try to give her a lovely life.
We moved on to the other sheep, which we had rounded up into a smaller pen ready for the vets arrival. The big box of veterinary equipment was unloaded and there was what seemed an armory of tools laid out on a make shift table. Lloyd and I got hold of the first lucky lady, Sweetie and brought her calmly towards the table. Our sheep are extremely tame and will run right up to you in the knowledge that there is no doubt some sort of tasty treat in your pocket. Unfortunately for Sweetie this was not the case today, just a few injections and an uncomfortable looking oral drench for the prevention of worms, then to be followed by ear tagging. Sweetie was then let loose again and given a little handful of molasses for her troubles.
A few sheep had been tagged at this point and we were starting to feel it on our backs, the vet told me she had tagged 250 sheep that morning and I told her I admire her, as I do not think I could be in that position for so long. I must say I did feel rather sorry for the girls as the ear tagging process does seem to be a little painful, but only for a short while. It did not take long for the other girls to realise that they should not run towards us today and instead should run away, which made catching them a little more awkward. Godfrey, our ram, in particular was not happy at all about having his ears pierced and turned his nose to knock the molasses out of my hands and gave the iron door to our chicken coop a hefty headbutt, I have not checked yet but I should imagine he has left quite the dent!
Soon enough however all of the sheep had been tagged and the vet had left, with a small gift of some of our blue and green eggs from our chickens and all was back to normal in the animal pens. We walked down to check on little Belle and gave her some of the prescribed eye drops. All the sheep were shoving their noses through the fence for a look at what we were doing with young Belle and it would seem they had all forgiven us for the apparent hardship we had put them through earlier.