Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Pioneer Preppy's Extremely Horrible, Extra Awful, Really Bad Day





I knew I was going to wake up to the downed tree this morning. I was up when the storm hit and heard the tree come down but I couldn't get a really good look at it until the sun came up.




Just another item to add to the ever growing, never shrinking list of stuff I need to do around here. At least this one gives me some firewood in return though. The tree being down and knowing I would get some firewood was pretty much the highlight of my day. It was all pretty much downhill from here.

I had a sick ewe yesterday showing the same signs that had killed the other ewe months ago and another one who pulled though right after that. We dosed her down with the super strong wormer we got from the Vet and I felt sure she would recover. We are about 2 weeks from the next normal worming time and I caught the lump really early. It was barely noticeable honestly. I felt confident she would be fine and when I checked her at 1AM she was still with us.

Well she died over night. This is crazy. That's two prime breeding age ewes who were both excellent producers that I have lost this year and one that got so sick I am not sure she will be able to breed again even though she has recovered. Add to that the lost Ram and purchasing a new one and the sheep side of things is so far in the red it will take years to recover.

The rains may have let up for a couple of weeks but we haven't had enough high temps and dry ground to fully purge these damned Barber Pole Worms yet it seems. The Vet tells me there is no stronger wormer available either. This strain is just vicious.

So there was the morning and a good chunk of the afternoon gone dealing with the corpse.

When I started up my truck it made a noise that reminded me of my first car. A 1970 Buick GS Stage 1 with a 455 large block, Holly Q-Jet and glass packs. I always loved the sound that engine made but coming from my 6 cylinder pickup with a standard muffler it wasn't exactly music to my ears.

Mine looked just like the one above only it was green. I loved that car until I wrapped it around a bridge in South Dakota. So not only do I get to fix my truck now I get to drive around and let it remind me of the time I ruined such a wonderful muscle car. Just great not like I don't kick myself every few years for wrecking that car anyway.

Add something else to my "needs fixing list".

I then had to go check all my bee hives to make sure none had been blown over or knocked down by falling trees. The orchard where I keep some hives was totally devastated. In fact I felt a little guilty about lamenting my own troubles because the orchard owner lost half his barn to the wind and a number of chickens and had to move the survivors into his workshop since their part of the barn now has no roof. On the plus side his neighbor's tool shed is now in the orchard owner's back yard so a roof was delivered to him free of charge it seems. I offered to help him clean up some but he declined because he was waiting on the insurance guy to see it all before starting to pick up.

Luckily all the Bee Hives were fine.

At this point the sun came out a bit and things did brighten up some. I managed to scavenge about 20 cinder blocks from a trailer court down the road about 10 miles. The guy who owns the place will take all the left over cinder blocks, landscaping timbers and such that people leave behind and make a pile of them. He allows me to come scavenge and this time it paid off.

I buried cinder blocks all along the walls of the chicken coop/stall so nothing can dig under the wall to get at the hens.

Oh and I took this picture of the White and Black Hen too if anyone recognizes what breed she may be.




The sun came out briefly and I was able to open the big sliding door to give the hens some light. They really seemed to enjoy it. They seem to be settling in and were up exploring around the coop/stall.

At least so far that part of things seems to be going alright today. Of course the sun ain't down yet is it?

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!




25 comments:

  1. nice hen but what a day!!!

    cluck cluck cluck rhymes with??

    seriously dude - i am amazed at your ability to soldier on - your average day would crush most lesser peeps - never mind today - uh, keep on prepping (fixing, cutting, feeding..... etc.)

    cheers pal!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamby - It did get worse. At evening feeding time I noticed a lamb and another ewe with bottle jaw symptoms. I treated both of them but considering how fast this hits who knows. On the bright side both seemed alert and active unlike the two that died who were lethargic.

      I am culling this flock as soon as possible now.

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  2. According to my 12 yo daughter she is a silver spangled hamburg. She has one.

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    Replies
    1. That is it, I couldn't think of the name, I had a rooster and the black marks looked like little hearts.

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    2. I forgot to say, she is a very good layer. Almost one everyday. Slightly off white, small to medium in size. My daughter's is about 3 yo and still laying almost everyday.

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    3. Anon - Thank you. I thought maybe she was from googling white hen with black spots but wasn't sure.

      Sf - This hen's spots look more like rain drops though.

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  3. What a cruddy day! 😠😕 just got back from Chicago for a family funeral and have been off line.
    Tomorrow will hopefully be better!

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    Replies
    1. LW - I hope so. I have two more sheep a lamb and a ewe showing signs now. I really need to treat and put them on new pasture but there is no new pasture that hasn't been contaminated now.

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  4. I saw that front or what ever it was on the map today, looked like a straight line across the whole region.
    The ewe was the biggest loss, everything else can be dealt with. If you were in the city, you could burn your truck and steal things to express your loss and let the world know how unfair the storm was.
    Always tomorrow.

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    Replies
    1. Sf - LOL ya. Man these worms are killing me and my sheep. I just don't know how to deal with them without a bit more rotation and I can't do that without more time. These rains have just made it impossible and I thought I had beat these worms once but I guess it just hasn't been dry long enough.

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  5. I feel your pain bro. we had heat index over the weekend that reminded us of Florida. Then the last 3 days we have had rain not sure how much. Tonight's temps down near mid 40's out here warmer in town. Oct. temps in mid Aug. It make me think, its going to be bad this year. Sweats and pants the last couple of days never good. Only 3 90 degree days this summer so far.

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    Replies
    1. Rob - Got downright cool here yesterday and last night. I guess the storm brought it in. I even put my robe on this morning for a bit. Fall is coming and ya it might be a bad Winter.

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  6. A thought on the worms. There's a product called Diatomaceous Earth (make sure you get FOOD GRADE and NOT pool grade!) that can help prevent worms. Normally, if an animal has worms I say to use the vet recommended wormer and deal, but where you're having so much trouble with the worms......the DE can be mixed in with feed, sprinkled on the ground (I sprinkle it in the brush to help prevent ticks and in the garden to help prevent various insect problems), and even force fed to the animals, and will help prevent many of the intestinal worms that can be picked up by eating things on the ground. Since you're having so much trouble with them it might be worth adding some to their feed on a regular basis to see if you can cut the exposure.

    Our weather here has been screwy as heck. A HOT and dry spring (last frost almost a full month early), a wet summer, and then the first part of August was actually on the decidedly cool side (but still wet). My garden is convinced its fall already! This week we've had more normal August weather (bleh, hot and muggy and nasty), with raging thunderstorms every time I turn around.

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    Replies
    1. If you can't find DE locally for a reasonable price, I've gotten it via Amazon, in 50lb bags, for a much better price than I can get local, even paying shipping!

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    2. Ruth - The latest recommendations from the vet now is that we shouldn't treat the entire flock at once with anything. I am not sure I like it but I can see their point in the fact that the flock-wide treatments are what is causing the resistant strains. They keep telling us to rotate fields but even after a treatment if you rotate to a new field that field then contains resistant eggs. It may come down to complete dry lot arrangement at which point I think a DE treatment might be worthwhile on the smaller area.

      It's all this moisture is what they keep saying. It is allowing the eggs of the worms to survive much longer than they normally do.

      All I know for sure is I hate them.

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    3. DE shouldn't be something they can develop a resistance too. Though I completely understand and agree with the concern!

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  7. PP,

    With all this rain and moisture, it's hard to get rid of those worms. I wish I had some type of answer to help resolve the problem. Hang in there!!!

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    Replies
    1. Sandy - There really isn't an answer right now except constant checking of the flock individual by individual. The vet is now telling us not to treat the whole flock but only individuals as that is what is causing the resistant strains to survive.

      At this point we may need to dry lot the sheep and start feeding grain and hay rather than letting them forage and they will not like that at all.

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  8. Is all live stock as sensitive to these worms as sheep are? You might think about raising cow or pigs instead.

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  9. Could having the chickens in with the sheep interupt the cycle of the worms?

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    Replies
    1. Spinnersaw - No. Grown Cattle and Horses are not as sensitive to the worms. Apparently calves are though but not as much as sheep. The thing that bothers me is that lambs are suppose to be the most sensitive and yet only two lambs have shown any signs of the bottle jaw and neither one ever got actually ill. Only 20% of the ewes that showed bottle jaw have died the others have recovered and only one got ill and recovered. It seems that there is maybe also a genetic thing involved in this as well.

      Mixed grazing is suppose to help but we are not set up to allow open access to the field for both horses and sheep at the same time as the main horse pasture is not fenced for sheep and they could escape. Part of why I was trying to get the fencing project finished before the constant rains put a damper on that.

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    2. Also the worms cycle is the eggs hatch in the pasture and live on the grass out there. They grow to adulthood after being ingested by the sheep. The chickens might well interrupt the cycle some by ingesting the nematode stage of the worms but the chickens so far haven't left the barn yard area.

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  10. Nothing like sheep to make a day worse! What are the signs of that worm problem, have a ewe with a leaky rear end.

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    Replies
    1. Kev - Well the biggest sign is a bulge right under their chin. Sometimes it gets so big it and hangs there looking like it is full of water. There are other signs in white sheep like less pink on the eyelid but apparently many sheep will just fall over dead too.

      I hate these worms with a passion.

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  11. Silver Spangled Hamburg is what your black & white hen is. They are called the "Dutch every day layer". You will like her. A little on the flighty side and they don't like being caged up, but a very nice hen. We have one and she is 7 years old and still lays at least 3 eggs a week.

    Sorry about the sheep woes. Worms are a pain to deal with.

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