Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bad, Good, & Unexpected News

First the bad news: Beautiful Vyvyan Bloem died very early yesterday morning. The night before I discovered her "hiccuping" constantly. I feel she was either having a diaphragm spasm or had an obstruction to her breathing. After a long observance, I decided to give her a lamb sized "Heimlich" maneuver. It did not help. She was keeping to her self and seemed miserable. Sometimes I get a bad case of hiccups so I could imagine how she felt if that were the case. I put her by her resting lambie cousins and left her for the night. I knew she would probably be just fine or dead by morning. Unfortunately, she was gone by 6am chore time.

My dear neighbor, Gail, took my 6:30am call. Bless her. After a thorough discussion on all the possibilities, we determined it was probably not disease but a physical problem. Vyvy could have inhaled something that blocked her airway. She could have been kicked or butted by a ewe and had a lung collapse or her windpipe damaged. Or she could have had a birth defect that was just not able to be seen. Since she had been playing wild just three hours before I found her hiccuping, I really do feel something "happened" to her. She was a beautiful soft ewe lamb. I am very sorry to loose her.

Good news: Each time I go out with the bottle for Anna's lambs, they are less and less interested in it. This morning they sipped about an ounce-because I made them. Then they ran off to play. I think Anna's milk is finally coming in. This is a great relief.

My mother-in-law, Nancy, suggested I take a picture of the lambs next to something measurable-so people could see just how tiny they are. I haven't had a real opportunity to stage a photo yet, but I did find this one of Nhu standing in front of the water buckets. They are average 2.5 gallon buckets.

Unexpected news: Last week my youngest son said his classroom birds needed a new home and he wanted them. Clancy and I agreed to allow the new pets if Leif did all the work. So Monday I went to the school to pick them up. I had this idea that we were getting parakeets that twitter in a cage all day. The birds turned out to be cockatiels that were 10 years old and tired of the wild classroom life. (They were becoming a bit grouchy.) So now we have cockatiels.

Fortunately, the birds are enjoying the quieter pace of "family life." For unknown reasons, they seem to really like me. The first thing I learned is that cockatiels are very smart and emotionally demanding. I picked that up all on my own. Then I got on-line and found some great sites that told me all the ways I could instantly kill our cockatiels by being ignorant of their specific needs. This was the same day I lost Vyvy. After an hour of research, I had to just go take a nap. The responsibility was overwhelming.

So far, the birds are still alive. They seem to be fine actually. We are learning more about them each day, and hopefully we will provide them with a good home. They are beautiful and fascinating. They have distinct personalities and behaviors. We are falling in love with them. Their names are Bette and Greybird. I'll post a photo when I can borrow the camera again.


Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Oh, how sad about your lamb! Sending long-distance bear hug . . . I guess I COULD send a replacement white ewe lamb after she's weaned!

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

Thanks Michelle.
I still have little Lyneth-she's white. Oh...but your white girl has polled genetics. How tempting. :)

I had intentions of keeping Vyvy. She really had the best features of both her sire and dam. She felt just like silk.

Vyvy definitely had horned genetics. So in one way, polled stock here is becoming the focus. It's just hard to loose one. They are so precious.

Becky Utecht said...

So sorry that you lost your beautiful Vyvyan, Sabrina. I know how heartbreaking it is to lose a healthy lamb so suddenly like that. And I know how great it is to have a friend you can call to discuss sheep events no matter how early in the morning it is.
Congratulations on the feathery new additions to your household. I'm sure your son's teacher is grateful they have found a good home.

Tammy said...

So sorry to hear about Vyvyan. She was such a beautiful little thing. So many unknowns that can befall our sheepy friends. We just do the best we can, mourn our losses and celebrate our wins. It's so hard though at times. As for the birds. It sounds to me like they are very happy! If living in a classroom didn't do them in all those years, I think you will do just fine with them. :-) Take care.

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Well, Blanche has a 50/50 chance of being genetically half-polled; only test breeding will determine if she inherited a Pp from her daddy....

Garrett808 said...

ah nuts Sabrina! Sorry to hear about your little girl! I thought about her when I was walking Oliver. He had an allergic reaction to something outside and started to have problems breathing through his was a horrible sound...he wouldn't drink either and he just sat down....perhaps got too excited? He is ok now...thankfully. those critters sure can make our heart stop

Karen B. said...

Oh no, such sad news. She was such a pretty lamb. So sorry for the loss.