Tuesday, November 30, 2010

This Morning SUCKS!!! BIG TIME!!!

I awoke to the sounds of J. Cash crying so loud I could hear it thru the walls of the log home. I pulled up the shade in my bedroom to see him standing at the fence line only on three legs. I blinked several times to focus my eyes and watched as his right leg was dangling in mid-air. I went quickly down the stairs pulled on all the winter gear and headed out the door with the vet kit. He was crying up a storm and his buddy Sylvester was pacing back and forth next to him. By the time I got through all three gates he gave me a look that was heart breaking. I calmed him down, reached down and ran my hands down his leg to make sure nothing was broken. As I lifted his hoof I could see the trouble. Some how he managed to step on a hunk of ice and drive it up into the soft tissue of his hoof. My hands were stiff from the bitter cold wind and the hour of the morning but I managed to pull the hunk out, clean off and stop the bleeding and then give him his required hugs for being such a brave boy. I quickly went and got them their morning feed and with a slight limp J. Cash started the morning walking back to the feed bunkers with a story to tell the others.

So, I thought why not start the chores a bit early since I am already out here. As I headed toward the Big Billies I could see blood. So with my huge winter boots on I quickly made my way thru the snow drifts and ice patches to reach the boys. I had blood covering the crystal white snow, blood on those incredible white fleeces and six huge swirling Billies. With vet kit in hand, gloves off and my heart beating way too fast I entered the pen with the boys. Now is the time you really have to watch yourself because they are hurt, scared and running around - a mix for us all to get hurt. I stood still while I talked quietly and slowly to them. Once I got them all to stand still I could address who was hurt, where and how bad. First to come up for first aid was Sherlock - he cut his head at the horn lines which always bleeds so much. I washed the wounds and put blood stop on the cuts. I did the same to his left hind leg - a clean cut that was not deep so again cleaning and blood stop was all that was required. After I got him done there was the several kisses on the nose, hugs around the neck and a finger wagging lecture of the ills of fighting.

The other four boys just had blood on them that was not their own. Not great for fleeces but will wash out with the next storm.

The last was the worst - Hansel!! The pictures of him I just took on Sunday afternoon. He let me pet him and even stood still for the photo's (Yes, I had to put hay down but most times he still will run when he sees the camera) Such a strong, proud Billy. In fact, I had talked to him that very day of being the clean up ram for the girls. Maybe that is what started this all.

Hansel is not one to come up to me much and that's O.K. but I really needed him to let me help. One thing I really needed to do is not give him more reason to fight - so I slowly went on my knees and lowered my head (don't try this with most male animals unless you wish to be picking yourself off the ground) and waited till he was breathing slowly and also dropped his head. He then took a couple of steps towards me and allowed me to view his injury. See those incredible horns or what is known as weapons - well, he managed to snap his right horn off about half way down. The break was a lucky one because it was right at the point where the tissue ends. I say lucky because he could have bled to death but with the bitter cold and the location of the break we have a chance. He let me clean it, pour blood stop on it and get a good look at the tissue remaining. I placed a herbal pack on it and talked slowly to him while the herbs where doing their job. I rubbed his neck to calm him down but also to see if there was any injury to the spine. I feed him rescue remedy tablets and I took a couple too...

Once everyone was tended too and I made sure they ate and drank without issue I started to walk the pasture to see what in the world had started this all. I followed the tracks and blood to the forest fence line. There I found coyote prints and tons of goat hoof prints. There I also found the broken horn. My guess is the boys stood the line and Hansel must have hit his horn on the large wood fence post. Either that or he got his horn caught with one of the other boys while they where all going after the coyote and snapped it that way. These boys do not fight with each other so I know it was while defending their space. Sherlock seems to have cut is head on a broke piece of the fence because I found some of his skin and hair on the wire. WHAT A MESS! I also know have another section of fence to fix - that is a never ending project when you have big guys around..

I finished the morning chores, got back to the house and made me a cup of coffee - THIS MORNING SUCKS!!! I put the horn on the counter (that measured 10 1/2 inchs which is a little bit shy of half the length of his horn) and gave thanks that even with all the drama it could have been worse. Not the best way to end November but I just know December has to be better - I say this with all my fingers and toes crossed...


Jane said...

Oh my goodness!!! Thank heavens that everyone was ok. Nothing worse than seeing all that blood. You just don't know what you will find. If that were me I would have needed a shot with that coffee. I think Hansel needs one too.

Sarah Kate said...

Your poor babies! That would have been a rotten morning even on a perfect, sunshiny day! Glad no one was beyond help. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Sheri said...

What a morning!! I'm so glad that it turned out as well as it did. I'm with you - glad to see the end of another November.

frannie in texas said...

gosh grace,
what a morning indeed. i could actually feel the cold as you checked out j cash for his injuries. i am glad that all in all it worked out. i could nt wait to hear what had caused all the problems. yes , i too am hoping for a better december.
frannie in texas

Brenda Courtney Larson said...

Wow, Grace...what a wake up that was. So glad all came out well, but hope you don't have any more mornings like that.

monica said...

Grace, I am so glad to hear that all of the boys are okay! I am so ready for November to be over too! It has seemed to be one thing after another this month! The only really good thing so far this month is my mom's birthday today!
Hugs and praying for a better December for all of us!

Keeper of the Past said...

Grace, what an awful morning but yet you were lucky that the coyote didn't kill any of your boys. I plan to hunt coyotes this winter. One thing that I will shoot without blinking an eye.
Tomorrow will be better but when the coyotes are gone, it will be even better.
God Bless and have another cup of coffee.