Clean Bill of Health
No not for me, I am about to have a second heart attack I think. No I was referring to my sheep. The State Livestock Expert came today along with the State Veterinarian Assistant and I in a nut shell they said to keep doing what I have been doing. The sheep are neither to thin, nor to fat, and they have good fleece and look alert, have energy and are eating just fine.
We discussed everything from the probiotics that I have been giving them, to hay quality and feeding supplements like cracked corn and oats. I certainly learned a lot today on sheep nutrition, and while I am generally in good shape, I got some good info to help the sheep when it comes really cold this winter. They also gave me some ideas on the upcoming lambs and what to do with the Ram.
I did have a few questions they could not answer though like Copper Toxicity in Sheep and Jonnes Disease which is prevalent in cows but they were unsure if it was passed to sheep. Since my sheep graze and get forage from cow manure spread land, this is an important health question for me.
I also had a tagging question, but it seems as if I am in compliance there too. That's because despite the bad publicity I am a firm supporter of NAIS and my sheep and this farm are registered under NAIS, Maine Farm ID and even Scrapie Program. On the later only 15 flocks in Maine are Scrapie Certified so its a big deal. (Scrapie is the Mad Cow Disease for sheep). With certification I can ship my sheep anywhere in the world...without it only within state).
All in all, my sheep got a clean bill of health. Wish I could get the same from my doctor, but then again I don't have a nutritionist, take vitamin and trace mineral supplements, have a well balanced protein and energy diet, and I certainly don't get oral injections of probiotics everyday (yogurt). Maybe if I did all that I would feel better...
I have no intention of traveling from birth to the grave in a manicured and well preserved body; but rather I will skid in sideways, totally beat up, completely worn out, utterly exhausted and jump off my tractor and loudly yell, "Wow, this is what it took to feed a nation!"