Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Well, We're Back

Very long, but covers the last 2 days...

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.


Anonymous said...

Phew! That sounds very busy and not very relaxing! I loved all the details, though. I hope you're having a good week. Oh, and Happy Birthday!!

Farmer's Daughter said...

Happy birthday! Sorry your trip was so short. I always feel more relaxed to get back home.

Sorry too about the ram and turkey. Make you not want to leave again, right?

Captain's Wife - Jennifer said...

Happy Birthday!!!! :)Oh dear! A ram and a turkey? Darn it. I'm sorry to hear it. Where are you finding these knitting classes? I never hear of any around here. Small town though, probably some in the bigger towns.

Everydaywoman said...

So sorry your vacation was cut short, after all your planning, etc. How sad about your losses . . the ram, turkey. So sorry for you! We didn't go away this summer at all and I found that I had the best summer vacation right in our own backyard. Strange, isn't it?

Hey, did I miss your birthday? HAPPY, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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