Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Goodbye, my dear Claire

Claire, as a lamb in 2005
We lost a dear friend yesterday, our 6 year old ewe Claire. She had somehow injured her leg. It was swollen, but not broken. The heat has been really getting to her as well. I brought her plenty to eat and drink as she recuperated. I had also been giving her vitamin therapy, and really anything else that I could think of to ease her pain. The leg improved, but then a bad case of summer pneumonia set in. She was having difficulty breathing in the evening. By morning, she looked worse. I talked to my vet, and picked up a dose of Draxxin for her. I have used this in the past, and one shot has done wonders for sheep suffering from respiratory problems. It was too late. She died in my arms that afternoon.

Claire snuggling with her momma Hazel, 2005
Claire and her sister Charlotte are the oldest sheep born on our farm. Really, it was a bit of a miracle that they lived. This was my 3rd year of lambing, and I was still quite inexperienced. Their dam Hazel was a very poor mother, and had nothing but problems. She experienced ringwomb when trying to deliver Claire & Charlotte. If I hadn't intervened, neither would have been born alive. Hazel was depressed after this whole ordeal, so wasn't will or able to nurse her twin girls on a regular basis. I had to supplement them with bottles. If you've ever had a bottle lamb, you know how they steal your heart.
2007 Salem checking out Claire's twins
We didn't breed Claire the first year. She produced a beautiful set of twins in 2007 and was a wonderful, attentive mother.

Claire's dam Hazel remained open that year, but enjoyed babysitting her grand-babies. In fact, Hazel never did lamb again, so sadly, was shipped to the butcher.

Claire and her lambs

Claire has been a great producer for us, we've sold 5 of her ewe lambs to other farms. She has always been one of those easy keepers. Whenever I went out to check the sheep, I'd say "Hi Claire", and she'd always answer back. I will miss her sweet voice.

She had an outstanding set of twins this year. The only lamb we've lost this summer has been her ram lamb, who greedily ignored the electronet and got tangled up and died. So tragic, as I believe he was the nicest ram lamb ever born on our farm. Claire was very depressed about losing her boy, and never really seemed the same after that.

So, we are left with her beautiful daughter Ingrid to treasure, as well as her sister Charlotte and her lambs. RIP my dear Claire.


Marie said...

What a tragic thing. She was such a beautiful ewe. The daughter I have, Garnet, is a wonderful mother and very sweet. Garnet must have gotten those qualities from her mother.

tonya said...

I am so sorry to hear this. She was sure a beautiful ewe. So sorry. That had to be so tough to be there with her when she passed - i know that helpless feeling. This heat has no mercy.

stace41971 said...

So sorry to hear about Claire, she was such a beautiful sheep. ((HUGS))

Michelle said...

Loss is never easy, I am glad you have other lambs to remember her by and wonderful memories and photographs. Wishing you comfort and peace. Thank you for sharing your story, I am thinking that I would like to raise sheep and it is good to hear all of the trials good and bad, and details of care needed.