I've spent quite a bit of time in the barn this last week because the weather has been so hot and sooo humid that the sheep are not just miserable, but a couple are really struggling. Sheep handle cold just fine. It's the heat that will kill them, especially if they are a little, um,
well padded insulated fat.
There are fans in all three areas, but the big barrel fan in the outside stall is the most popular. And whoever manages to stake their claim to the primo spot in front of it (blocking all the air for everyone else) seems to keep it for the whole summer. One year it was Graham. Last year it was Daniel. This year it's Hershey.
Emily and Casper Belly
Renny, dreaming of being a Liddy babysitter so she could get at all that different crazy lush grass.
And look who's out with "the main prison population". Yep, that's Jester. What a funny old guy. Occasionally he asks to go out, so I let him out. This time he walked up to Woolliam, punched him in the head (I think they are actually friends, so more of a "guy thing") and then over to say hello to Emily, his adopted daughter. Very sweet. Now he's listening to Rebecca Boone go on and on about something and he's probably wishing he was back in the retirement paddock ;-).
Maisie is not one of the sheep that I'm most worried about (for a change!). She seems to be handling the heat okay. Part of that might be because her tummy is hairy, not woolly. Bill, the sheep shearer, told me the best way to cool a sheep down is shear off their belly wool and wool around their neck. And if they are in real, immediate trouble, pour cool water over the back of their neck before you do anything else.
"That's nice, but I'd prefer just to drink my water."
Daniel is very hot, but he's trying to sleep it off.
B. Willard is sleeping like a beached whale. He always does that.
He gave me a scare the other afternoon when I thought he wasn't breathing. This is not the first time he's done that!
"Yeesh, lady, I keep telling you I'm fine!"
Poor Spud, stuck back there in the corner, has had the most trouble with the heat. Since Jester seemed to be so much better just moving into the aisleway, I tried that with Spud. I should have sheared him right then. I thought he seemed better in there, but the second day I realized he wasn't. By that point, even after I sheared him, he was not "right".
He was laying down too much and at odd times, walking stiff legged behind, keeping his back legs close together, having trouble getting his legs in position to lay down. Luckily I have good sheep gurus and vets to call on and a quick diagnosis of heat stress was made.
I didn't realize their muscles would "tie up" like a horse in situations like that. We treated pretty aggressively with IV fluids, vitamins and minerals and anti-inflammatories and I think he's going to be okay. He's still not 100%, but we have a cool(ish) day predicted for today and I'm hoping that will help. I'm sorry, Spud :-/.
Baaxter's hot too, but he likes the opened up aisleway. He's the one who'd been hogging the inside stall's fan, so everyone else likes that he's enjoying the open aisleway, too ;-).
I like this picture of PPPP...
...but I like the story in this one better - her head on the gate, the motion of the shade cloth. Sadly, I let her be overexposed and by the time I fixed that the breeze disappeared. The story of summer. At least the rain has stopped for a few days. Farmers all over are cutting and baling hay like mad!