Wednesday, August 10, 2011

How I Got This Way - Part 6d, Livestock Problems

Part 6d

In 2010 we discovered the neighbor to our SW and and a neighbor directly across the road from us were both contracting with Pioneer to do test plots for GMO corn. They use chemicals with organophosphates, 2,4-D, dicamba and round-up. Test plots use a lot of pesticide. But there are fewer applications, and most follow lambing seaon. Here's the animal results...

On 03-15-10 I discover that Lily has a stuck lamb. He's been stuck for a week. She didn't have any signs of labor. I just happened to see a little bit of bloody discharge, so I checked her. (Remember, I've become much more "invasive" after the weird things that have been going on.) I pulled it, it was septic, and a little spotty ewe lamb.

Checked the other ewes and found Cheryl's Ewe-nice had a stuck lamb as well. Pulled it, black ram, and a second lamb (a white ewe).

03-16-10 the ewe, 10 of 07, has a large ram lamb on the field. I give Lily B complex and note after birth is still not delivered. I manipulate the afterbirth, to encourage it to release, put in a second uterine bolus and give her penicillin for the sepsis.

03-18-10 Lily is declining. She's off her feed. I give feed supplements and more penicillin. She's bleeding, clotting and shaking. One of our neighbors puts down fertilizer on both his place, to the south, and the Evils, (which he's renting). Fertilizer contains a number of toxic "inert ingredients." Lily dies. 1 of 09 has a broken leg. Ron casts it. No apparent reason.

03-23-10 I take Jessie, my son's German shepherd, out to potty and smell insecticide. It smells like Raid.
03-25-10 the ewe, 2 of 08, has a blk ewe lamb, and a second ram lamb, an hour later.

03-26-10, 4 of 08 has a ram and a ewe an hour & fifteen minutes apart. Ron's out working on the fence between us and the Evils, during this time, and Mr. Evil runs over to the fence, brandishing a hammer and threats to "come over the fence and beat (Ron) to death with it." Mr. Evil flies his remote control plane over our farm.

03-27-10 Mel delivers two ram's and a ewe by herself.

03-30-10 Ron notes Mr. Evil sprayed right of way.

03-31-10 take Beege (our German Shorthair) out to potty, and smell heavy chemical smell.
04-11-10 I'm out shearing llama's. Mr. Evil flies his remote control plane over our property, over me, dive bombing me.

04-16-10 shearing Phillip, Cheryl's ram and discover he has massive hard cysts.

04-19-10 working outside, smell petroleum/spray.

05-1-10 Ron works cattle, treats 2 for mange. Mange is due to parasitic mites. Remember parasites infest animals that are Immuno supressed. I should note, we feed premium alfalfa all winter, until the pasture is back up in the spring. They aren't stressed due to lack of good feed... Treats all cattle with "pink eye vac" the vet recommended (Ron uses a different vet than I do and tends to treat "allepathically" they are assuming the pink eye is a virus.)

05-29-10 Ryan notices Rambini (Rambo's son that I saved as a replacement ram) has labored breathing. We decide it must be more paracite problems and reluctantly give Ivamec. Ivamec all ram's.

07-3-10 Rambini having trouble again, Ron gives B shot.

07-08-10, Cheryl comes and we lance and drain Phillips cysts again.

07-11-10 Cheryl's lamb, from Ewe-nice laying down and not eating or drinking. Give B and Ivamec drench. Gets better by next day.

07-13-10 I'm outside doing animals and a yellow spray plane flies over at less than 200' - remember the minimum, unless they are spraying, is 500'. Treating Cheryl's lamb still, looks like it was nose bots and heat stress. Yellow and black plane comes back and sprays Cleaver's field, 1/2 mile down the road. I note that he begins his discharge over Carpenters. Spray engulfs their house and yard. The wind speed is over 10 M.P.H. It's against the law to apply in conditions were it will drift, wind speeds over 10 M.P.H. Are drift conditions.

07-24-10 treat all sheep with Ivamec drench for parasites and note problem's connection to excessive pesticide use from previous 3 weeks. One lamb drops dead following treatment. One a few hours later. (those spray application notes are on my calendars, not necessarily noted in my farm journals).

09-01-10, Shmookie's calf, 2 of 9 has very small, weak calf premature. Dies next day. We also find a dead rat in the field.... Very odd.

09-05-10 Ron treats youngest heifer's for pink eye. (despite "vaccination")

09-06-10 Ron treats Sproingy, (cow) w/eyeball shot for pinkeye.

09-13-10 Ron retreats all cattle for pink eye.

I decide that animals are to run down because of spraying, and have too many health problems. I chose not to breed this year to give all ewes a rest.

11-18-10 Ryan discovers ewe lamb, 3 of 10 dead on pasture.

11-20-10 we move sheep to smaller pasture closer to house. All have signs of mineral deficiency and not thriving. Boost minerals and start grain.

11-22-10 Blizzard

11-23-10 Ewe lamb, 1 of 10 down on pasture. We give her B, probiotics and bring her into shop. We give her extra hay & combo.

11-24-10 she dies.

11-26-10 more sheep come down with diarrhea. We treat all with kaopectate & probiotics. Sheep recover.

12-15-10 our cow, 02 is feeling poorly. Standing hunched and not eating. We bring her in give her anti biotics, probiotics, extra feed, grain w/ brewers yeast & C.

12-23-10, 02 appears recovered. We turn her out.

12-30-10, 02 relapses, we bring her back in and put her back on the treatment. All lambs have diarrhea.


01-08-11 Cheryl's lamb not moving, we bring it in. Begin treatment include "Cellfood" and lamb starter.

01-13-11 lamb keeps improving then relapsing, take in fecal sample. Vet prescribes worm drench. Ron give antibiotic, too. Ron also gives 02 worm Meds.

01-15-11 on vets recommendation worm whole herd. Lamb gets worse. I begin regular probiotics and lamb recovers. Starts eating again. Ron gives selenium to lamb and cow. Cheryl's other lamb starts to fail. Ron gives more penicillin to first lamb.

01-16-11 Cheryl's first lamb dies. Too weak for treatment. 02 dies a week later, I forgot to write it in my journal.

This year, the neighbor on our SW contracts again with Pioneer. It's a different field, further away: GMO corn.

06-03-11 Rambini dead this morning. He was fine the day before. I found him. He had blood running from his eyes & nose. They'd sprayed the evening before.

06-21-11, 09 has bull calf. He has one incomplete eye.

That is the completion of all the relevant farm journal entries to date. My next task will be to review my spray notification calendars and edit them in to the livestock journal entries. I think you'll begin to see an even more obvious pattern emerging...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How I Got This Way, Part 6c, Livestock Problems

Part 6c

This year, no adjacent melon farming. The melon farmer and his crews left every field he'd rented wasted, full of black plastic, garbage, weeds and human excrement. Every neighbor is pissed, except the Evils, but Mr. Smart is down wind of the 'Evils' and doesn't want the stuff blowing in on him. The Evils want to keep on Mr. Smarts good side.

Smokey Rose goes off her feed. She's straining and hunching. I call the vet. He determines a bacterial infection. We treat w/enema, molasses, nutrients and he says 2oz of PPG as a laxative. This year I have retired the remaining 3 ewes that I started ths program with. They will just be fiber producers from here on out.

3-5-08 Lily begins labor, first lamb breech. 1 ram, 2 ewes. All lively and well. On the 6th, Mel has 2 ewe lambs on the field by herself.

Sunny died On the 7th. There had been two toxic episodes last week & one on Thursday that made me sick. I must assume that Sunny's death was due to those, as he sickened and died following those events. Also, Smokey Rose seems to have reabsorbed her lambs, and is no longer pregnant.

The Evils had begun a program of unannounced 2,4D spraying that I will address more when I review my journals. I'm including this note here because it resulted in an animal death, that was heart breaking. They sprayed when my husband was out of town, knowing that it would imprison me in my home for 8 days. On May 10th, during the imprisonment, I look out the back widow and discover Lyra, one of my female llamas, down on the pasture. I watch her for some time with binoculars. Not even an ear twitch. I can't get out. It's so toxic, it's life threatening. I assume she's dead. I cry in helpless rage and sorrow. When Ron returns he finds she's still alive. She's paralyzed. As I'd experienced paralysis from these chemicals I should have thought of that and kicked myself. She dies that day.

We were having another summer with pink eye problems. This time the 2,4-D is being applied weekly by the e
'Evils,' not for agricultural purposes, but in retaliation. One of the twin calves, who we named Zoid, as she had a trapezoid shaped patch on her face, got it so bad, she has to have the eye shot treatment. Her twin ends up needing the treatment too. Another cow had twins and one her calves needed the treatment, as does 119's calf.

Ron helps me with feet trimming on Oct., 9. Mr. Evil runs out of his house, fires up his diesel tractor and parks it idling as close to us as the fence allows. On the 12th when we are finishing up sheep Mr. Evil runs out and lights a fire burning railroad ties. When I go inside he puts it out. When I come back out, he dumps accelerant on it and gets it going again. (these notes were in my farm journal, I'll forget them later when reading my other journals, so I included them.) I had to quit, go in and Ron had to finish my chores.

On 10/24/08 Shana my loving, quiet pom died. She'd been showing all the classic signs of stomach cancer for the past couple of months. The research shows a higher incidence of cancer in dogs that are exposed to 2,4-D. 2,4-D is heavy and travels along the ground. Smaller dogs are more prone to contracting cancer as they are breathing in the pesticide zone. I have research on 2,4-D applications that shows adverse effets within an average of 500' from the application site. Children and small dogs are most at risk.

11-2-08 Smokey Rose died with the return of the same hunched posture that the vet couldn't really identify and suggested was a bacterial infection. I think it was just pesticide poisoning, plain and simple.

1-4-09 Mel is standing hunched up. This time I treat the ewe as though she has a toxic injury. I had learned that selenium is a major part of the glutathione cycle. I give her 2cc Bo-Se and 5 cc of B Complex, and brewer's yeast. She recovers.

4-5-09 Mel has 3 lambs. 1st one, extra lrg, and dead. Next 2 healthy. (2,4-D is also an endocrine system disruptor. So I'm not surprised we continue to have problems.) On the 8th Lily has 2 lambs by herself.

On 4-12-09 PGG Agronomy, a spray company, sprays Husky on the Evils back field, adjacent to the field where Lottie the mule and Bullwinkle are. The next day Lottie colics. On the 28th PGG sprays McColley's and Sproingy, a hereford/angus cow has her calf. It's weak and stressed, though delivery is uneventful.

My filly, Mariah, got injured badly and I'd been sneaking out to doctor her when The Evils were gone at work. On 5-31-09 Mrs. Evil and her kids returned with a truck full of sheep and saw me. The next day when I went out to tend Mariah, after they went to work, I started having symptoms of 2,4-D poisoning. Spinal swelling, skin itching and burning, porphyria, severe headache, eye balls burning and swollen, etc....

10/14 was out sorting ewes and ram's for breeding, one of the Evils ran out and started spraying with their 4 wheeler. I got sick.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

How I Got This Way Part 6b, Livestock Problems

Part 6b

In '06 problems started early. I was beginning to suspect the melon farmers but had no proof. Just suspicion. Prep work began early in February and I had ask the 'Evils' to make sure the melon farmer was only using fertilizer. Mrs. Evil had expressed an interest in going organic and requested information the previous summer, so I thought I was going to be protected. It was mid February when Rosie got sick. The 19th. At the time she showed signs of "over eaters disease" or pregnancy toxemia. Both have the same symptoms as pesticide poisoning, but I didn't have any factual evidence and was just beginning to note the connection. Remember, the melon farmer insisted it was "only fertilizer." I'd called and reminded him I needed notification if he put down any chemicals, the first day I saw him working in the field. That day they were "just discing..."

I treated Rosie for bloat, toxemia and mineral dificiencies. I should note that all our livestock have free access to mineral supplement. I was reasoning that it was the multiple births sucking the minerals out of her system, so she would need extra. Rosie was 'down on the field.' There is only so long that a ewes can be down before she can't ever get up. It's the lack of circulation that will kill them, so at least three times a day I was rolling her over and pedaling her legs by pairs, like one does for a baby. then I'd right her but make sure she was laying on her other side, so more blood could get to her legs. They lay on their legs you know. I notice that Clarise is also having trouble getting up, and Jane knocked her down at the trough. I treated all the ewes with cal/mag and started supplemeningt with combo and extra alfalfa.

Rosie continued to have problems and showed some vulvular swelling. She wasn't due yet, so I called the vet. He came out and administered dexamethasone, an anti hystemine to improve the lamb's lung development and advised polypropylene glycol. This is a synthetic sugar made from petroleum. I questioned my vet, but he insisted it was safe. I went ahead and followed my vets orders. Elanore was looking stressed as also, so I treated her w/PPG as well.

On the 24th, Elanore went down, too. I began a daily treatment of mineral gel and B12 drench as well as C with their rations. I wasn't thrilled with the polypropylene glycol, so drenched with warm water and molasses and gave B Complex injections. I was also doing physical therapy on every down ewe. Then Clarise began to show signs of problems and I included her. This is the day the vet said he would do a C section if Rosie was still alive.. We did it on the field; he came fragrance free. There were 3 lambs. One very large. They were very vigorous, at first. They didn't have enough lung development and suffocated. It was so very sad. After the surgery, Rosie expelled an unbroken sack of water with a placenta. A unformed 4th... She was able to get up 3 times by the end of that day, with help. Elanore also got up with help, and Clarise got up with just promoting. The vitamins were helping.

Elanore continued to improve and got up by herself when I came out to feed. Clarise was eating well again. And I discontinued the B Compex injections. I helped Rosie get up and encouraged her to make two laps around the pen. She fell down as her one hind leg was still weak, but she was making progress.

On March 1st Clarise had 1 large ram lamb, by herself, then a long wait and she had a 3 more, two dead. On the 4th Jane showed the sighs of a distressed labor, blatting, lying down for a tiny bit of strain, then hopping up like it was too painful. She was yawning a lot and her gums were pale. The next time she went to lie down to push, I jumped on her, held her down by laying on her and check out what is going on. I'm learning to get involved faster. I find an unbroken bag of water. When she next strains, I rupture it, then do another exploratory. One leg is protruding, only. I feel back along the leg and find it is up over the lambs head, which is causing it to protrude into the rectal wall and keeping it from moving out. It's also very painful for the ewe. I massage and stretch the vulva until I can bring the leg down into the proper position. I collect the other leg and nose and guide them into the proper position as well. Then I get out of the way. She delivers a good sized ram lamb, lively but stressed. Lots of meconium in the fluid. She is up and cleaning him, then goes down for the next lamb. Again, lots of screaming, her not me, and indications of pain. I check this next one and find a breech presentation. Again the bag hasn't broken. The membranes are very tough. I break the bag and very dark fluid rushes out. I reach in, grab both hind feet and quickly remove the lamb, swinging her like a pendulum. Breech lambs have a tendency to drow. They inhale as soon as the chord is pinched or broken. Since their heads are still inside, in the fluid, you have to pull them fast and clear their lungs. She's stressed and takes a while to get going. This is 4 of '06, who I later name Mel. Short for Melanin. She is a black face. Jane goes down again and strains quietly. It looks like she's expelling her uterus. It's called 'prolapse' in the sheep world. It pretty much spells the end for a ewe. Turns out it was a tiny lamb and a massive placenta. The lamb, when stretched out measured only 9" from toe tip to toe tip. It, of course, was dead.

While I was lying on the field pulling lambs I saw the melon farmer drilling something into the soil of the back field of the 'Evils.' As soon as I was done I went in and called him. I backed him into a corner by saying, "You don't drill fertilizer! What is it that you're applying? He 'fessed up that he was using Bravo. He said it was just once and promised to notify me every time he used a chemical. He didn't. I looked up the MSDS and the label at that time. They were very vague, saying that that it was mildly toxic. But that wan't what I was seeing, or experiencing first hand. I found a site that had thorough research concerning chlorothalonil (aka Bravo, Daconil). It said it was extremely volatile, and extremely nasty. Caroline Cox was the researcher. She's on my 'wall of heros.' I found other research papers on it. One was an independent study in the Grande Ronde Valley that detected chlorothalonil 4 miles from the application sight at toxic levels. The researcher noted that it was drifting beyond that range, but they just didn't continue to gather data past that. It was found in fish, frogs, birds and mammals above the valley in the supposedly pristine wilderness areas. It listed genetic damage, fetal mutations, endocrine system disruptions and gestational problems all found in all these specie, as well as being the cause of death, for many samples taken. In summation, chlorothalonil kills all living cells, from fungus to mammals, by up taking cellular glutathione. My livestock were manifesting the symptoms of the chlorothalonil poisoning listed in this research paper. Add to that, I'd been diagnosed as severely glutathione deficient since I first saw Dr. Smith back in '04... Bingo!

But most people still thought I was crazy. After all, if it was really that bad, they wouldn't sell it, right? Wrong! So much more to learn...

3-4-06, Elanore is off her feed again. She's dragging herself about and flopping end to end. I catch her up and do a cavity check. Nothing in the vaginal canal, but the cervix is soft. I reasoned she just didn't have it in her to get the job done, so I massage the vulva and go in and retrieve 3 live and 1 dead lambs. The first one yellow with meconium, the second white, not stressed, the third, was small and dead, the 4th was a stressed ewe and brown with heavy meconium staining, but she had a vigorous sucking reflex, so I knew she'd be alright.

On 4-17-06 Brax suffered another severe "asthma attack." I gave 5cc of dex. I should probably mention that he wheezed and had labored breathing all the time. He was also off his feed and would only eat if I supplemented him with B complex, C and L- lysine. Rambo is also showing disturbing symptoms. His feet have been giving him all kinds of problems. I was running him through a zinc oxide bath the previous summer because I thought it was viral foot rot. Only it wasn't like normal foot rot. He was also getting tumors on his scrotum and showed symptoms of arthritis. It was in May of this year that I happened across a photo of a cow with laminitis. It looked the same! I researched laminitis in sheep and came up with a Boise research station paper on pesticide induced laminitis in sheep. Bingo! I also heard from another chemically sensitive group in the Alsea National Forest they people were finding dead deer and elk with malformed hooves and antlers and were documenting them and the cause was chlorothalanil spraying by logging companies for the express purpose of reducing the deer and elk populations so they'd quit eating their replanted seedlings. More greed, more poisoning. These deer and elk had the same hoof malformations as Rambo. The note in my journal references the first incidences following when they were pastures in the back, last year. And my suspicions, then, that these problems were related to the melon growers and the chlorothalonil.

In June, Jane Baaaand died suddenly and on 07-21-06 another ewe lamb dies without warning. By the end of the month we have several cases of pink eye in our cattle. (by the way, the melon farmer is still insisting that he's only applying fertilizer.) One of our calves has a severe case. The blister on the eye ball is so bad she may be permanently blinded. Ron has to give her a course of shots in the eye. I helped. This is the one I can't do...needles in the eye. Eugh! Then our brand new prize bull, Bullwinkle, gets pink eye and has to get the shots. This is not something they stand still for. Not only was this harming and killing our animals, it was physically putting us at risk. Sticking a 2000 lb. + bull in the eye with a needle, even with a squeeze shute is still a dangerous job.

O8-10-06 I treat all my sheep for diarrhea with Kaopectalin and probiotics. They have no other sign of parasites, so we don't worm them. They improve. I add a new 70% wendsleydale ram (Wendell) to my herd as Rambo, my Mont ram is failing. My sister-in-law brings in a leiscter ram (Phillip) and a wendsleydale ewe (Ewe-nice).

On 12-18-06 Rambo dies from his toxic injuries. There is a notation that he was recovering until the second adjacent melon farming on the 'Evils' property this year. It was too much for him. He was a dolly. Obedient and friendly. I still muss him.

In December of '06, I learned that the melon farmer was going to rent the property directly up wind of me, in '07. I immediately requested a letter of reasonable accommodation from my doctor, who complied and we got the letter out in two weeks. The letter stated that any ground spray w/in a mile or arial spray w/in 2 could be life threatening to me. It also stated that petroleum exhaust was life threatening and there should be no air traffic over my house and property. (that was to address my strafing ag pilot). I sent it out to all my neighbors, requesting that they just cooperatively notify me when they needed to spray, so that I could 'shelter in place' and they could still get their business done. I sent it to all the spray companies and to the emergency services. And that my doctor recognized me as disabled and meeting the criteria of the ADA and entitled to accommodations. The day the Evils got the letter, her father, who was also a pilot, flew his acrobatic plane over my house, in tight little circles, 10 feet off the roof and strafed my pregnant sheep. The minimum ceiling for acrobatic planes is 1500'. That was in January '07. They claimed it was accidental. Yeah, right! I actually got a picture, but the cops didn't report it to the FAA and nothing was done. I called EPA to find out more about chlorothalonil and learn that the practice for melon growing is to drill the chlorothalonil into the soil at the beginning of the season, right before planting, and to spray or fog it with fertilizer every week for the entire growing season. That rat had been lying to me all along!

Now Mr. McColley, the owner of the field behind me is no wimp. The melon farmer is a bully, but Mr. McColley can take him. He orders him to keep me informed as part of the contract and to apply in the least volatile manner. I finally start getting notices. It makes it a lot more manageable for me. I get help to watch ewes when there's been a spraying. Yep, he applied every week!

Brax died from respiratory distress on 1-27-07. What more can I say. He was a grand champion FFA show llama, he visited kids at school and participated in petting zoos and was all around, a charming and loving llama. I cried. It was so senseless and so wrong. Both my stud boys were gone!

Then it was lambing time. 3-3-07 Elanore delivered 4 lambs, by herself on the field starting at 6:00 a.m. Mel begins a difficult labor at 9:00, with all the attendant crying and delivery problems. I caught her up, checked, misdirected front feet again, and pulled it. I let her work on her 1st lamb, until she showed trouble with delivering the second lamb and pulled it as well. Both were fine. Smokey Rose, a grey ewe out of Rosie and Wendell, was up next. She started her difficult and problem labor on the 4th. On her initial check, I encountered a a spine against the 'door.' This one took a lot of turning and when I finally got it turned round right and grasped the legs and nose, I felt the hair slough off in my hand. It was dead, I pulled it and went after the next one. I found it's head and legs but as I passed my hand over it to identify it, I felt my finger slip into the empty eye socket. It was either missing an eyeball or,... I pulled it and the reek confirmed it was dead and decaying. I reached in past the nasty material and found one more lamb. I drew it out, alive, vigorous, a black ewe. I flushed Smokey Rose thoroughly with beta dine solution and bolussed her. (something I do after every assisted pregnancy, but I forgot to say before.)

On 3-5-07 I bring in Clarise, who begins lambing behavior. She has 1 lamb. Elanore's '3 of 07' is found dead on the field and 5 days later '4 of '07' dies. I have to say again, before the melon farming, I never had these kinds of problems or lamb losses.

Cheryl's Ewe-nice is next and it's her first lamb. She gets it part way out, but it's head is large (breed thing) and is stuck with it's feet and nose out. When Ewe-nice seems ready, I pull it, while she pushes. The lamb was slow to respond, but came around. Lily, a Clarise daughter had one lamb on her first season, as well. This is not uncommon.

In April we got the first cases of bottle jaw we've ever had on our ranch. It's a parasite infection and parasites attack animals with weakened immune systems. On the 24th one of our Hereord cows had twins. Cows don't have twins. I find out that another neighbor that is adjacent to melon farming's suffolks ewes are having quads and triplets and a cattle farmer is experiencing sequencing problems and had multiple sets of twins. These are all symptoms of endocrine system disruption.

That winds up the animal issues for the year and about all I can do today. I will continue in '08 next time.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How I Got This Way - Part 6a, Livestock Problems

Part 6a

I'm starting with the livestock's story, like I promised. I'll have to back up a bit - hindsight, and journals, reveal more than one realizes at the time...

I started reading my farm journal in '02. At that time it was just a brief log. I'd log in birthing data and required vet care. I'd note who did what to whom. Not a lot of detail or dialog, just facts. In '02 my sheep births were pretty normal. This was before the melon growers began renting adjacent properties. I had two Montadale ewes, two suffolks ewes and a Montadale ram. Elanore, one of my Mont ewes, bore triplets that year, everybody else had twins. This was expected and in line with their breed and genetic line. There were normal lambing issues, but nothing unusual.

In '03 things started to change. Elanore began the lambing season by presenting 4 lambs. That's remarkable for a Mont ewe. Jane Baaand, a suffolks ewe, who should only have 1 or 2 lambs produced 3. Rosie my other suffolks ewe went into labor on 3-13-03. It was an extremely difficult and unusual labor for a sheep. Normal labor and delivery is about 20 min. It's a very quiet, secretive event. Not this time. Rosie, the ewe, began complaining loudly at 4:30 p.m. At 5:00, she finally layer down and strained. She worked at it until 6:00 when an amniotic sack finally appeared. She continued restless, occasionally laying down and straining, and standing with her head down and straining. Ryan and I maneuver her into a small pen. We jump on her, and bear her to the ground where I do an exploratory. There is a massive, giant lamb in there. He's stuck tight. Ryan and I pull it. He's huge. Rosie is exhausted. She doesn't get up for 20 min. And the lamb doesn't get up for 40. This is a very bad sign in sheep farming. Rosie was yawning, a sign of pain. We gave her fresh water, she drank a gallon, and sweetened grain. The lamb was not vigorous, he was lethargic. I rub him ruffly, with towels, trying to get his heart working. When Rosie starts feeling better, she paws him. Before he got up she started back into labor. We made sure he nursed and left them alone. In 10 min. she delivered a small ewe lamb. 10 min. later, she delivered a second small black ewe lamb. She should only have produced a single or a twin. At the time, I thought it was 'good fortune.'

Clarise, my other Mont ewe delivered next. Like Rosie, the delivery was very atypical. She began by letting out a huge squall and carried on as if to say, "what the he'll is going on back there?!" She showed mucus and dripping bloody water all day. She'd begun at 7:30 a.m. and by 11:00 we penned her up. She hadn't gotten down and done any work yet, nor was she eating. I kept thinking She'd get to it any minute. She just kept wandering back and forth. At 8:00 p.m. I looked at her back side. Nothing was showing. I checked on her hourly, but she never got down and pushed. If she tried, she'd quit abruptly and jump up quickly. By 5:00 a.m. She was getting more consistant in her attempts, but was fatigued. When your ewe shows fatigue, that's supposed to be the sign to intervene. At this time she just laid down flat and looked at me with her head flat out on the ground as I approached and did a vaginal check. I discovered a large lamb, twisted and wedged in the canal, just inside. The feet and nose were jutting up into the rectal area. There was no perforation, but it was locked in tight above the vaginal opening. I twisted and pulled until I got the feet out. I stretched Clarise out in order to give the lamb more room. I couldn't budge it. I went back to the house and woke up Ron. It took all of Ron's strength to pull her out while I guided her twisted body to keep her from hooking up behind the rectal opening again. We spilled her out on the frigid ground in front of Clarise, who gallantly licked at her while Ron rubbed her down and I drenched my arm in betadine and went in after any other lambs. Surprisingly Clarise tried to push them out as I pulled. The second lamb that I pulled out was dead. It's cord was around it's neck and had apparently been severed the previous day. It was already beginning to decay. The next out was a small ewe and a then a tiny ram lamb. Both were very stressed, but alive. We placed them at Clarise's head. She licked them too. There was so much blood from the second lamb's ruptured cord that we had to move them all. Clarise couldn't stand on her own but we got her up and she staggered along with us. We tried to get all the lambs to nurse. The little ram lamb couldn't straighten his legs, he'd been so cramped in the uterus. He also kept shivering. I made some sweaters out of sleeves from old long under wear tops and put them on the lambs. I ran into town and bought a baby bottle. The little ram lamb had no suck. So I milked Clarise's colosterum into the bottle and forced in a little bit at a time. He finally stood up at 10:30 a.m. At 11:30 Claris finally got up on her own.

This was the first year I'd ever experienced these kinds of lambing problems. They were unprecedented. Later in July that second ewes lamb died, for no apparent reason. This was '03, the year they were spraying on Baccus's place. Back then, I didn't know about the spraying. I didn't know about any preparation that they may have done in the fall. I hadn't connected the dots. My neighbor who owned a field to the south of us liked to use a herbicide that contained Paraquat. I didn't connect that either. But the ram is put in with the ewes in October. This is the time of year that farmers prep, and spray their fields with herbicides. Mostly 2,4-D and the chemical that My other neighbor used.

'04 played out pretty much the way '03 did. Very difficult labors and deliveries, abnormally large lambs and too many per ewe. Jane had 4, two of which were dead. Rosie had 4 lambs, two were huge, one of which was dead. Clarise had 3, the first was huge, and dead, follows by two small ewes. Clarise showed signs of post delivery toxemia and possible calcium deficiency. I called the vet and he did an emergency calcium push. She was up and going again in a few minutes. Rosie produced 3 lambs. In mid July, same as last year, another lamb dies. No apparent reason. A week later, another one. Both were Jane's.

In '04, the melon farmer was farming Voile's center field, to the north of me and Mr. Smart's place beyond that. I was laying on the field pulling lambs as they sprayed 'fertilizer.' What I came to know later was that the fungicide that they applied with the fertilizer contained EDTA, a chelating agent. The first thing it grabs from the body is calcium. Not only was Clarise calcium deficient (hence the emergency push) but I was showing signs of calcium deficiency, and started taking cal/mag/zinc supplements. I didn't connect the dots. This is so typical of most of us. We just address the presenting incident and keep going forward without asking why.

'05 - was the year the melon farmers farmed the place behind me, on my northwest corner. It is at the back of my property and furthest from my sheep pastures. I did however put all the boys in that back pasture...much to my later regret.

Jane began by delivering 3 lambs, by herself, two were dead. Elanore had 1 ram lamb, a partially developed fetus and grossly enlarged placenta that looked like something out of a horror movie - which I discovered in the middle of a still, dark night, and 1 more ram lamb, 2.5 lambs. Clarise has 2, both difficult deliveries and weak stressed lambs, then much later a very sick lamb, that I just had to let die. Hours later she delivers another dead ram. Total of 4. (It's at this point that I begin the practice of uterine sweeping after any difficult birth.) Clarise is again sick and not responding well, I give 85 ml calcium borogluconate, sub Q, to her and oral cal/mag/zinc to all the other ewes. Definitely a calcium deficiency. At the time I think it's because they're having so many lambs. Clarise's lamb, 5 of '03, who later was named Lily, had a bad right hind leg. I gave her 6 ml of calcium, as well as 74 more to her mother the followingnday. Her leg improved. Rosie began her difficult labor with all the drama seen the previous year. She had a twisted lamb stuck. I'd gotten to the point where I intervened a lot sooner by this time. This lamb was so huge it coudn't get out of the uterus. It's toes were just sticking out, and it's head was still in. I had to reach in (wearing a breeders sleeve for those of you who are grossing out now) and massage the cervix working it back over it's head, using one finger hooked behind it's grinding plates to draw it's head forward. Bear in mind, this is happening in the dark, on the field. I finally got it's head out of the vagina enough that I could safely pull it. A ewe, she was lively and vigorous and sprang up immediately. Rosie had a second lamb that was also large and stuck. I gave her cal/mag/zinc gel. Then, I got Ron up and we sat behind her, with our feet planted on her hams, grasped his front legs and pulled with all our might. We drug that lamby out of his mother and up the full length of my body. He was actually almost as long, extended, as I was tall. I called him Monstro. He was nearly as tall as his mother. He was stressed.

Brax, the stud llama and Rambo, my Montadale ram, along with Sunny, our other show llama, not intact, were in that back pasture (3), next to were the melon farmer was "just putting down fertilizer." Remember, this happens is February and continues weekly through out the growing season. And trust me, I called and checked what he was applying, only to be assured that it was "just fertilizer."

One day Ron and I decided to put the ewes and lambs out on pasture 1, and move the boys up to the lambing pasture. It had less feed and they were needing less groceries. We went back to get them with halters. As we crossed pasture 2, high with blooming grass, Brax had a fit. It was horrible. He was chocking and foaming at the mouth. He collapsed on the field and was slamming his head repeatedly on the ground. He was crying out in distress. We managed to get him up and move him to the sheep pasture, where I immediately hosed him off. It seemed to help. It was a horrible event, on Brax, and on me. It left both of us shaking. On May 24, I witness a third event, worse than before. I called the vet. He came at once. We consulted and he admitted he didn't have a clue. He asked for my best guess. I said it looked like asthma, the kind I get, where your lungs fill up with fluid. ( which I now know is chemically induced.)So he gave him steroids, a dexamathoraphan (antihystimine) injection, which helped, and ivomec incase it was parasite induced and left me with the dex bottle and dosing instructions.

By August, we started seeing pink eye problems in our cattle. This is another thing we had never had a problem with before. The 'old farmers tale' is that it's due to grass pollen. What I've subsequently discovered... 2,4-D causes conjunctivitis, commonly known as 'Pink Eye.' Remember, melon growers use a lot of 2,4-D to treat the weeds between the rows and on the parimeter.

That's about all I can do for today, next time well get into '06, when the melon farmers moved back onto the property to the North, now owned by the 'Evils.'