Posted by: kathandroger | August 6, 2015

Animal Woes.

I went back to Blighty last week, alone, for my Godson’s wedding. The Boss had to stay behind to clean and prepare one of the gites for new incomers, and it was difficult for me to be without all the hoovering and bedmaking roles I have so enthusiastically engaged in over the past few years. Seeing old friends and drinking wine was a poor substitute for all that graft, but I managed. All was well with the animals before departure, but within a day news arrived of a serious injury to Sophie, our only female lamb. She was hobbling badly but did not want to be examined by the stand in shepherd. After some phonecall advice, the help of a guest was sought, the animal was trapped and examined, and a broken leg diagnosed. Now I have kept sheep for many years now, and have never seen any limb broken, but the deputy shepherd was adamant. Our local vets don’t deal with sheep, it was the weekend, and the animal itself did not seem too bothered, still keeping up with the others on three legs and feeding well. So the decision was made to delay treatment until the shepherd returned a day later. The diagnosis was duly confirmed-her hind leg was flapping about madly, but the skin was not broken and she was still in good lamb spirits. But how to treat her? I used to have some old Plaster of Paris, but that has all gone now, and welding, my new skill, was clearly not appropriate. With the help of Amy, a nine year old guest and potential vet, and the Boss, we managed to fix the break with a combination of old bandage, some fibreglass bathroom tape and a waterproof covering of plastic tape. Sophie looks much more comfortable, and has even put her foot to the ground, but I reckon it will take another few weeks to claim success.IMG_3164

I just love our swallows. We have a least half a dozen nests in various buildings around the place, and some have already had two broods this year. They chatter away to each other, sound their warning if the cat is about and generally liven up the farmyard with all their swooping about. One of the nests is in an old pigsty, only head high off the ground, and to reach it the parents have to fly over the door through a space of no more than a couple of inches. I have fondly watched them, whilst laying in my hammock, and marveled at the speed and agility, as well as the stamina of the parents, bringing food to their offspring. But a couple of days ago I went into the sty to fetch some equipment and found one of the parents dead directly under the nest. Their were no signs of injury, Dennis the cat was not involved, and I guess the poor thing just died of exhaustion. What a beautiful bird, obviously an adult with the long tail feathers, and happily the chicks were just about ready to fly and have done so with the help of the other bird. Such is Nature.IMG_3155


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