33

#33 is feeling much more chipper after her off-her-feed mini-crisis on Tuesday. Can you tell by her expression? 😀 I’m not sure I can, but I can tell by the fact that she’s eating, drinking, grazing and chewing her cud like normal again. Good, good…

On Tuesday, I gave her 4 oz of propylene glycol morning and evening. Midday I gave her a dose of Nutridrench. And I gave her two doses of homeopathic Lycopodium in between all those things (‘cuz homeopathy is supposed to go into a clean mouth and be separated from eating, or drinking anything but water). Linda reminded me about the Nutridrench, though when I did use it, I was also reminded of how expensive it is to use on full-grown sheep! :-{ Nutridrench is great for little lambs, just two squirts from the pump bottle is a good dose, and that’s often all they need as a pick-me-up if they are weak. The labeling is confusing for adult sheep, it requires you to do math in your head in the field, which is annoying (at least for me, because I’m not very good at doing math in my head).

Here’s what it says: Newborns 4 mL (cc) = 2 pumps. Goats & sheep: 1 fl oz per 100 lbs of body weight. 1fl oz = 30 mL (cc). Ok, so, huh? While I’m wrestling a sheep down, I’m figuring… hmm, that’s 2 mL per pump, so 30 divided by two is 15 pumps for a 100 pound sheep, plus half that, another 7.5 pumps for another 50 pounds, so ideally, about 22 pumps for a 150 pound sheep… And should I account for the fact that she’s carrying an extra fifty pounds of fetuses and amniotic fluid? Hrrmmm… And then, the sheep gets irritated after about two pumps, and the liquid starts drooling out of her mouth, and by pump #22, I’m really wondering how much went into her stomach and how much went onto the ground! 😉

I wonder if they purposely obscure the dosage math for big animals, so that while you’re in the store checking out the bottle, it doesn’t occur to you that the ten dollar, 8-oz bottle only has about six adult doses in it? 😀 Premier carries Nutridrench in gallon bottles for $98, so then it’s about $.77 per ounce rather than the $1.23 per ounce price for the tiny pump bottle. But still, that’s $1.53 every eight hours for a good-sized sheep, according to the label instructions!

Considering that propylene glycol is the first ingredient in Nutridrench, and that a gallon of plain ol’ propylene glycol is $19; I’m thinking the plain stuff is going to be my treatment-of-choice for any ongoing ketosis issues. I’ll save the Nutridrench for occasional use on big animals, and reserve it mostly for lamb rescue. And maybe a gallon of molasses on hand would be even better, because if you could get the sheep to eat that on top of grain, there would be no wrestling and near-choking! I may look into how well that addresses low-grade ketosis compared to propylene glycol…

So, anyway, I digress. I made #33 eat grain out of a bucket three times on Tuesday, so I could see how much she’d eat. By evening, she was able to power through a whole pound of grain and then move onto hay after that, and that was after grazing all day. They have unlimited grass now; so that hopefully helps them top themselves off if they are a bit short on hay and grain.

In standing there waiting for her to eat from a bucket and swatting away the llama and rest of the sheep, I realized she’s a slow eater. That may have been causing her to lose out on getting enough grain compared to the other aggressive hogs-at-the-trough in the herd. Wednesday she ate 1/2 lb of grain each in three feedings, grazed well and ate her hay again in the evening. So, I let her off the hook and didn’t make her take more propylene glycol. That stuff is nasty-tasting, after all! I think she’s OK, though I’m still watching all of them closely for good appetites in these last days before lambing starts. Several times during the day, I use the binoculars to check out what they’re doing, and verify that it looks like they are all grazing and up-and-about.

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