This has been a summer of death at Loafkeeper Farm.
The cage a bunch of our chickens lived in fell apart, and so the chickens became free rangers. They flew up into the shrubs and trees at night and ate bugs out of the grass by day. One day we came home from work and they were gone.
Another day we came home from work, and the last two ducks had vanished from their tractor. The door was shut, the lid was on, and there was nary a sign of struggle. We did, however, find a hole in the chicken wire. Either something neatly pulled them out that way, they packed their bags and left on their own (closing the door behind them), or the postal delivery lady stole them.
I found Carla dead in her cage (you guessed it) one day when I got home from work. She had been acting fine that morning. I don’t know what happened to her. Wibble stopped eating, and we force fed him and gave him fluids, but he wouldn’t eat. A few days later he died.
Then the sheep got bad parasites. We gave them wormer meds, and the sheep would seem to get better, but then they would get worse. By the time it clicked that we needed to change wormer, three sheep were too weak to make it. Two died on their own, and the third Andy had to put down.
2 ducks + 6 chickens + 2 bunnies + 3 sheep = Summer of Death
A few days ago, we contacted the folks we bought most of our sheep from and asked them if they knew of a good home for our girls. This morning, the Ingleside folks loaded Pearl, Sadie, Pumpernickel, Pumpernickel’s two babies, and Pearl’s baby into a giant sheep cage in the back of a pickup and took them home. We kept the Sids.
We’re a little sad but mostly we are relieved. We know they have gone to a good home where they will get to play with other sheep and run in fields and be happy. They won’t all stay there forever, but the Ingleside folks know how to sell sheep and are connected and have a great web site, and they will find new-new homes for those they decide not to keep. It’s a good thing.
So, no more chasing the girls hither and yon. No more baby sheep to fret over. No more “rammy” rams going nutso during breeding time. Less hay, less shearing, less time feeding and watering and moving fences. So yah, sad but relieved.