I’ve heard that my whole life. I’ve been through several hurricanes. Two in New Orleans and one in Charleston. This past weekend was not the actual hurricane but all the rain from it. It rained from Thursday evening till Sunday afternoon. We at the Hollow got 11 inches. 11 INCHES. Good golly. Plus it had been raining off and on for about week before that. Before this past rain our grounds were already at a saturated level. So the added rain made much of South Carolina a lake. I am fortunate to live on the side of a hill. There is a creek at the bottom, but it did fine. Just there was no drying out for the animals and we are now suffering.
I lost two birds due to the rain. They just couldn’t fight off what ever was making them sick. I had them in the barn, but it was too late. I have Sir the Dorking rooster in there now. I’m doing everything I know, but he just isn’t acting like himself. All the bucks were thin from not getting enough grazing in, but today they look good and acting like “bucks”. I’m getting loved on again. I think they think I stopped the rain. Awww. The other birds seem to be doing well. I managed to get all the water bowls cleaned and disinfected. They were truly disgusting. The ducks were very pleased with this. The brooders are a never ending mess, but that has nothing to do with the rain.
I try very hard to do right by all the animals. Yes, we raise many of the animals for meat. All the turkey will someday be a dinner. Most of the chickens running loose are layers, so they really have nothing to worry about. All the brooder birds are for food. I have rabbits for breeding and rabbit for food. The bucks are for breeding. But there is Gyro. He is the one lonely sheep. He is to be a future meal. I know this is hard for some people and truthfully it is hard for me. He’s cute. He’s sweet. I never knew this was going to be a thing. Then with all the rain he has gotten ill. He has a high worm load and nutrition has been off due to not grazing. I have been giving him and the bucks extra chaffhaye, pellets and hay the whole time. That worked good for the bucks, but the sheep needs and prefers grass.
Yesterday the sun was out and Gyro was lying in the grass. I thought he’s enjoying the sun. But I then realized he hadn’t called to me like he always does. He had had breakfast, but still no talking to me. I went to check on him. He was not doing well. I noticed the mushy poo and his eyes lids were pale. I went into panic mode. I started asking all my farming friends for advice. Reading all kinds of info on anemic sheep. Made a mad run to the store for all the things he needed. I drenched him and dosed him with molasses water (he is not a fan). I moved him to the garden to get fresh grass. I put out water and more chaffhaye. I dosed him with more molasses (still not fan). By evening he was looking better, but not out of the woods. This morning he called to me. Still not his usual call, but it was a good sign. I gave him more molasses water (and you guessed it, hated it). I have him back in the garden. He’s a fan of the clover. He also loves to sit under trees. So there I put him next to some clover under a great tree. He is in no means out of the woods, but I have done all I can, yet I still feel awful.
I sat with him for awhile. I cleaned up his backside where the mushy poo was. I pulled the wool from around his eyes. I just sat with him, praying he returns to health. Praying he will make it. But at the same time I feel guilt, because his ultimate goal is to be my dinner. Why does he have to be so damn cute. This farming thing sucks sometimes. The fact is, I want him to have a good life no matter what the end goal is. I want him to be healthy and happy. This is what most farmers want. There are a lot of people out there making noise about how farmers are bad. We aren’t all bad. There is no money in sick or dead animals, so we do everything we know to keep them healthy. And being happy is part of that.
The forecast is sunny for the most of the week. Most people in South Carolina are happy for that. It’s going to take a week for the water to dry up. People are hurting all through SC. Lost homes, cars and some lives were lost. They say it was a 1000 year record of rain. I believe it. The long range prediction calls for more rain this fall and an eventful winter. Time to get busy around here and get ready. Come Hell or high waters I will make it and be all the better. Have a good week everyone.