Monday, June 20, 2011

A very long 10 minutes -

The little miss in the front is Rita - she's got a thing for sticking her little schnoz through the fence (you know, the grass is always greener thing...)

Well, Saturday evening, I heard one of the lambs calling - I said to The Shepherd that it sounded like someone was in trouble - "Oh, no", he said, "it's probably Blanco - his mom is cutting him off...and the world is a pretty horrible place right now"

Turns out, later, he said - "You were right, that was Rita crying - she had her head stuck in the feeder - I had to cut her out" (4" hog panel holding the hay in - just the right size for a hungry lamb head to stick through, but not the right size for her to get it back out again)

Tonight, The Shepherd had a church meeting (in Blaine - 25 minutes away) - I'm at home, puttering and trying to get the living room to a state that doesn't look like chaos for our house/sheep sitter while we are at the Black Sheep Gathering this weekend. Suddenly, I realize that there is a lamb crying again - frantically crying - Adrenaline kicks in - I grabbed the cordless phone and ran out to the pasture - sure enough, she didn't learn the first time - now she has her head stuck through another piece of hog panel that he'd put up as a temporary fence right after the lambs were born to keep them in a smaller space and he just had it tied up against the fence in case he needed to use it there again. And on the other side (the greener side, mind you) was some very choice looking bamboo... and there was Rita with her fat little head stuck again.

Now, one might think there might need to be some genetic interference here - and we've lost a lamb from getting her head caught in a feeder a couple of years ago - it was a very sad deal - and Rita has a very pretty apricot colored fleece - Don't want to lose that - So I get on the phone to The Shepherd - luckily he has his cell phone turned on - and even more luck - he was on his way home - but he could hardly hear me "what is the matter?" he kept asking - I'm out a ways from the phone base, so he can barely hear me - "Rita stuck - head in fence" I kept yelling (like that was going to make him hear me better...) I finally determined that he was going to be home in about 10 minutes - (it was 15 but who's counting) - and he had to change out of his good clothes - (another 5 minutes-)

Luckily, Rita was still pretty interested in the grass on the side of the fence her mouth was on - go figure - but she was struggling and it was hard to keep her still -

The Shepherd found a hacksaw blade (unfortunately blade only - the saw was too big to fit in the space) and it seemed like it took him forever to cut one of the bars and free the little gal - after a quick once over, she took off for the comfort of her mommy and sister -

All's well that ends well - the old saying goes - I'm still strung out on the adrenalin from seeing her stuck in that fence and trying to hold her still, while waiting for The Shepherd to get home. That was a very long ten minutes.

These pictures were from Saturday afternoon while everyone was milling around - I managed to catch them when they were lined up so you can see the colors.


Tammy said...

Pretty lambs! I hate it when there is one in the crowd that does that. I had one one year who was determined to die that way, but somehow we made it. Two suggestions. :-) One--Bolt Cutters! These are a life saver around here and will cut the livestock panels like butter (even if you don't have allot of upper body strength). Secondly, long ago I read something about if a sheep has their head stuck in the fence, to grab a hind leg and pull back--somehow this triggers them to pull their head back instead of the typical lean into something when you are trying to help them. Crazily enough I've had a few times to try it out and it does work, unless they are hopelessly tangled. Anyway, I'm glad that you only had to wait 15 minutes before help arrived!

Laura said...

Get some bolt cutters - 24" handles are best. They make quick work of hog panels when sheep are stuck. The nice thing is you make one cut, bend the piece away enough to get the offender out, and bend it back - fence is still intact.

I wouldn't pull on a leg as Tammy suggested - I know a friend who lost a goat kid that way (it struggled and broke its neck...). I have had some luck holding their nose (so they can't breathe), and they pull back. However, it seems that their little ears work like Molly fasteners (the things that go in the wall that you screw into) - and once in, don't come out very easily!

Nice fleece or no, I'd cull that one - for sheer stupidity, if nothing else!!

Franna said...

Stressful, indeed! We lost a full grown ewe that way once - through TWO hog panels. Sad, sad! One we still have was "rescued" countless times with her head stuck through the panels. Pretty lambs and pretty fleeces! Hope you have a great time at BSG. :-)