Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thomas the Tank Engine

Yesterday while preparing for the evening arrival of the newcomers to the farm, I noticed that something wasn't right with Lucy. Normally she's full of energy and she likes to egg Abby and Ryan on to do this:

and this:

 Instead she was just lying down and she looked really out of it. When I realized that she couldn't stand up and was having muscle spasms, I rushed her to the vet. It seems that she has eaten some kind of toxic plant. We have no idea what, or if that's actually the cause, but the most important part is that she is better today than she was yesterday. Her pulse and temperature are back up to normal and she is interested in food. She's still at the clinic now (I brought her home last night to give her fluids here) and I'll go pick her up in a few hours. Poor little Lucy. 

Even with the Lucy illness we managed to get the fences, gate and shade shelter all ready for the farm's new arrival: Thomas the Ram!

He looks a bit different than photos of rams on Google images, but I guess this is just what Dorper x St. Croix rams look like.

Just kidding...we might use google for everything but we aren't *that* bad. That's Thomas' llama friend, Zeballos. He was sent along with Thomas since with his sheep friends gone (the woman who sold them to us sold her whole flock) he will be lonely. He could have lived with the woman's cattle but apparently they are too messy for him and he doesn't like to eat near them. Llamas choose one spot to defecate and then stick with that spot - they don't like to get dirty.  

This is Thomas the Tank Engine:

Like with any ram, he should never be trusted and you should never turn your back on him. His old owners told us that they only go in with him if they have to, and if they have their Border Collies with them, since he will respect the dogs.

As soon as they left - possibly before they'd even driven back through the gate, this happened:

That's Thomas, backing up to charge Nathan. The Border Collie is missing since he took one look at the ram, tucked his tail and ran off to go roll in some grass or something...maybe to eat some kale. Luckily Nathan is quick and he side stepped Thomas a few times before I sent in backup.

I think Abby will do a good job of keeping Thomas back if I go in to that paddock. When she went in there with Nathan and barked and circled Thomas he backed right off and stopped charging. 

Thomas demonstrating the "Flehmen response" when checking out his future ladies.

Thomas loves grain, too - but I'm only going to feed it to him through the fence. I don't want him to have any desire to approach me when I'm in the field with him. When he got impatient for more and started to ram the fence I walked away and came back when he had stopped. I *will* train this ram! You can see the new ewe in the background. She hasn't stopped calling for her lamb that was just weaned.

Handsome Thomas. Look at that mane! You can see that the lambs aren't exactly nervous anymore. I need to stop wearing flip flops in there since they get so eager they step all over my feet.

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