A blog post on sheep shearing from Sunday will be forthcoming (have to download the photos, among other things), but, in the meantime, poor Cinnamon.
The sheep were sheared Sunday afternoon. They got pretty upset, in part due to our own stupidity (ours and the shearers). Cinnamon tried to get out of the catch-pen at one point, even jamming her head through the fence screen. ARGH.
She seemed fine, but she and Tatanka started hobbling about two days ago. Tatanka has gotten better–mostly–in the intervening 48 hours, but Cinnamon seems worse.
I went out to visit the sheep late this morning and she was laying down. Cinnamon is usually pretty interactive and social (not to mention talkative!), so it was unusual for her not to get up. Although sometimes they just want to lie down and ruminate–ruminate in the biological, not the philosophical, sense.
I petted her head and body. She seemed happy enough to have pets, but there was something not quite right about it. It’s impossible to put into words. Perhaps it’s human projection. But when you’re around a limited number of animals regularly and get to know them, their personality, their movements, you can tell when something is ‘off.’ And something is definitely ‘off’ with Cinnamon.
When Ron got home, he went out to see her and he agreed that she seemed to be worse off. Do we call a vet? Do we put her in a smaller enclosed space and hope that it heals on its own, in part due to less movement? What do we do?
One of the problems with sheep is that their flock instinct is so strong. When the sheep go dashing off somewhere new, Cinnamon joins in, even though her leg clearly hurts, because she doesn’t want to be left alone. She hobbles and may run more slowly and awkwardly, but join the flock she will. But clearly extra running around is not good for any sprain or strain.
At lunch, we decided to try putting her in a smaller enclosed space. One option was the catch-pen, but it has no shade. Ron decided to try the sheep shack.
We lured her (and Spot, ever helpful and friendly Spot) into the shack. Ron almost grabbed her a few times, but Cinnamon was much warier and more suspicious than usual. That made us worry even more. She’s normally so friendly and comfortable than she can actually be quite a pest, following us around, sticking her face in our hands or legs, and generally being a too-close-buddy-who-gets-in-the-way. The fact that she was more nervous, flighty, and less trustworthy suggested even more that she is in some pain.
Ron finally managed to nab her outside the pen when he put the corn tray down on the ground. He managed to grab her, pick her up, and carry her into the sheep shack. Meanwhile, I kept the other sheep away and shut the shack door on them both. We got her set up with water and hay so everything should be fine.
However, earlier this afternoon I was hearing a lot of Cinnamon baas. Granted, she’s a big talker and she has this pathetic, somewhat annoying baa. But she was talking almost non-stop.
So back outside we went to check on her. After initially being calm in the sheep shack, she’s now decided that she wants out. But she can’t get out, of course. So she’s been baa’ing her head off and, as I discovered when I was out there, standing up at the shack door (it’s a half-sized door that flips up).
Standing up–and even at one point pawing at the door–can’t be good for her injured leg.
Cinnamon was clearly much happier when I was there. She stuck her face in the cracks as much as she could and desperately wanted pets. Spot came over at one point and it was adorable. She was standing there at one corner, sticking her nose into the shack to “see” Cinnamon as best she could. I petted Cinnamon lots and, while the baa’ing was much reduced while I was out there with her, she wouldn’t give up on the baa’ing and pawing at the door routine entirely. Meanwhile, Spot just hung out with us both, clearly happy to get pets from me and sensing something was wrong.
I finally left. As I did, Tagine wandered over and stuck his face through the crack at Cinnamon’s. Clearly, they all want to be together. Once I left, the baa’ing quickly resumed. Ron’s out doing some wage work, I’m at home and should be doing wage work of my own (but here I am in blog land). Cinnamon has finally calmed down and seems to be baa’ing less now. That’s a relief. It’s so distressing to hear her so distressed.
I don’t know what we’ll do next, whether we’ll call in a vet ($$$) or leave her in the shack for several days, hoping that her leg heals on its own–and putting up with the pathetic baa’ing in the mean time.