So we did have a good vacation, it was just shorter than we wanted. We visited Shipshewana on Tuesday. It was nice but the flea market was mostly junk. I heard it is a lot better earlier in the season. The little shops were neat to visit. I thought it would take 2 days but we were ready to leave well before lunch time. We stopped by McGrew Tractor Parts. Brian walked around and looked at tractors and equipment for quite awhile. I was happy as a clam knitting in the truck. I even found the Dave Ramsey Show on the radio.
We drove over to Michigan City and somehow drove right past all the hotels, well within a block of them, without realizing it. We ended up downtown and then we drove along the coast for a long time. We were having fun but it was like something out of a movie. There was nothing for miles. Then we found a sign for the town of "Dune Acres". It was more like Green Acres. There was a nice little town clerk in a sheriff type uniform and you couldn't even get to the actual town because the roads were private. Yet it was in the woods/dunes so not very fancy.
Anyway that guy gave us a map and we found our way back to the hotels in Michigan City. We went out for a nice dinner and stopped at a little ice cream shop for dessert. Today is my birthday so that was a nice way to celebrate. Brian wanted to get me something but I talked him out of it since there are 3 different knitting classes I plan on taking this fall and those are expensive. That'll be a nice present. :)
So then things took a turn for the worst. We got a call about 8 AM this morning from our neighbor. He said one of our ram lambs wouldn't eat and was just laying around. We talked about it and considered our options and finally decided we should go home. We got back around 2:45. The ram was flat on his side and breathing heavily. Unfortunately it was the ram we planned to put in with our ewes for breeding this weekend. After calling our normal vet (out of town) and a backup (out of the office) we hauled the ram to a third vet.
The vet gave him a poor prognosis. We opted for blood work which showed that our ram's kidneys were failing. At that point he was suffering and so we had the vet euthanize him. It was very weird for me to be on the other side of that. Usually I'm the one reassuring the owners while they say goodbye, not the one petting the animal and feeling so bad!
At first the vet thought he was afflicted with clostridium toxicity. We vaccinated him against the disease but I don't think we ever boostered the vaccine so he may not have been protected. However, after doing bloodwork the vet said it was much more likely that the ram ingested a toxic substance from a plant or his feed. Clostridium would have affected the liver and not just the kidneys.
We're at a loss as to what kind of toxic he may have ingested. He is fed hay that we personally cut, baled, and stacked. All of the animals get hay from the same field and are fed the same corn. All of the sheep get the same pelleted supplement and his came from a fresh, dry bag with no mold. Both of our ram lambs have been in a box stall so they were not even out on pasture where they could have chewed on a poisonous weed.
Also, one of our 3 turkeys died while we gone. No obvious reason. I've always heard turkeys were hard to keep alive but these ones were pretty much full grown and have been fine.
To top it all off, when we arrived home after disposing of the ram his new marking harness and halter had arrived and were waiting on the back step. I guess I'll put it away for another year. We'll be taking our flock to another farm for breeding this year.
I'm sorry to be such a downer. Tonight I told Brian I think I'm ready for a vacation - ha ha! On the bright side, our neighbors did take good care of everything while we were gone. Someone even mowed our lawn! That was a great welcome home gift. :)
I took a walk around the farm to remind myself how good we have it. That's were the pics came from.
What started as a blog about the happenings here on our Centennial Farm has now evolved in to a little more personal account of things from my point of view as a new farm(er's) wife. Stick around for awhile and hopefully you'll learn a little about everything from industrial and sustainable farming to raising livestock to being green and maybe even catch a good recipe or two. Enjoy!
We're on our way out of debt and on to greener pastures...