I walked into the barnyard with an armful of hay for afternoon feeding and there was Biddy lying on her side.
I dropped the hay and squatted down next to her, I didn’t think, I just put my hands under her to help her get up.
Getting a sheep who is down up on her feet is important. If they can get up and stand on their own, they’re already doing a little better. Biddy got right up with a little help and shook her head. Then she walked into the pole barn. Always a safe place for the animals.
Jon was with me and said we should get her in the stall in the barn if possible. I opened up the gate and, as if she knew, she walked right in.
I brought her some hay and she started eating right away. I also gave her a cup of grain, water in a heated bowl and spread straw on the ground. By the time I got done, Biddy looked as if nothing had happened. She was baaing to be with the other sheep.
We’re not sure what happened and may never know. It made be that she had a mild stroke. Jon has had that happen to one of his sheep before.
Biddy is old, although we’re not sure how old. She is the last of the Romneys we rescued from a farmer in 2016 when she couldn’t care for them any longer. There were four of them, Rosemary, Izzy, Griselle and Biddy. (Click here to see when Griselle and Biddy first came to the farm) All four sheep hadn’t been shorn in a couple of years and their wool was felting on their bodies.
But after we had them shorn they had the most beautiful wool, which I sold for years. Biddy’s wool doesn’t grow as quickly or as thick as it used to, but it’s still soft, and lush.
It was upsetting to find Biddy laying on the ground this afternoon. I didn’t see any indication that there was anything wrong with her. It was unexpected. But I was encouraged when she got right up and started eating. And except for shaking her head a few times, she showed no other signs of being ill.
We’ll keep Biddy in the stall in the barn for the next couple of days and see how she does. We also don’t want her out in the cold weather that is coming tomorrow.
The good news is tonight when Jon and I went to check on Biddy she was standing up, alert, nibbling on hay and looking like her old self. The donkeys and sheep were as close as they could be, just on the other side of the gate.
I’m hopeful that Biddy will be okay. I don’t know for sure of course, but she’s acting like herself, as if nothing unusual happened today.
I also want to say that I understand that some people think they are being helpful and will try to give us advice about how to take care of Biddy. But because no one knows all the detail but us, it actually isn’t helpful.
Jon and I do not need any advice about taking care of Biddy or any of our sheep. Between us, we have many years of experience with our sheep and any medical help we need we get from our Veterinarian who we have been working with for years and trust completely.