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A mournful day

Today was a very sad and painful day for everyone at and involved with LambWatch :(

Today (Sunday 6th July), has been a bad day for LambWatch... but it all started yesterday when Lynda noticed that one of our tame pheasants (not muddyed) was off its food and was behaving uncharacteristically.... quiet and moping. Sadly , today the pheasant was found dead near one of our outbuildings. A bad start to the day

It got worse when in the late morning we noticed Billie behaving strangely; lying on her side in the field. Lynda initially thought that she was merely making the most of a brief spell of sunshine. Billie had had her normal feed and was perfectly alright at 9.30 a.m. but as the morning went on, it was becoming obvious she was in pain: it looked as though another heavy shower was on its way so we decided to get her indoors out of the weather. As we were getting her indoors, she looked as though she hadn't enough strength to even walk but after we got her indoors, Howard rang the vet. When she was indoors, we noticed her stomach was looking a bit bloated and she had difficulty getting up and down.

After describing the symptoms to the vet, Howard was told that it could be down to exceesive carbohdrate intake, which is what we thought but it was odd because she hadn't had much more cake than she normally did so were were a bit concerned.

Lynda stayed with her while Howard went to get the medicines from the vet but Billie's physical state deteriorated rapidly: her stomach started going into spasms and she started grunting. Five minutes later, she sadly died within minutes of Howard getting home

We have been racking our brains since to think what caused this and have come to the conclusion that it must have been her eating the leaves and bark from an elderberry tree, which we have since learned can be poisonous to animals. In the past, every time Howard brought her into the farmyard for her sheep nuts, she always made a dash straight into an elderberry tree and ate it ravenously and during the process of haytime, we damaged the tree which was growing in the yard and so Howard had thrown some of the branches into the field for the sheep; something which he has done for years and never thought twice about and with no ill-effects.

We are all devastated by this, she was a spirited sheep and we will miss her a great deal. It has been a very sad day for everyone but Daniel has put together this short film so we can celebrate her short but sweet life. Billie (or Billy - however you want to spell it) was so named because she was a spare lamb born last year and at the time she had no friends to play with, so she was known as Billie-no-mates, and the name just stuck.

UPDATE: Thank you to everyone for your kind comments about Billy. It is so nice to receive them. Fi sent us this lovely poem about Billy...

A Poem about Billie the Sheep

The Procters had a farm of sheep
Come Spring them people had little sleep.
Lambs kept arriving day and night
And boy did some put up quite a fight.
One or two became special to us
Including Billie whose lambs caused quite a fuss (when feeding)

Dan produced a set of dvd,
From footage from a webcam for us all to see.
On 6th of May it was announced to one and all
That the day before Billie had given out the call
At last her babies had been born
The Proctors would have no further need to yawn.

The lambs were a little girl and a boy
I bet Billie was thinking "Oh what Joy"
Unfortunately things didn't go to plan
Billie didn't like her girl but she loved her little man
Lynda stepped in as a surrogate mam
And helped to feed those little lambs

Today sad news did come
Which made us all feel very numb.
Lynda informed us that Billie had died
And yes its true most of us cried.
Only a few days ago Dan told us she would be their pet
Now she has gone and she will always be remembered
As the best sheep you could have ever met.

Fiona Howe aka Fi
06/07/08

Andrea has also posted a lovely poem on the forum too. To read the forum thread, click here. Thank you to everyone again for your kind comments.

Alex from Coquitlam sent us this very sweet picture - thank you so much for this - it brought a big smile to my face and I am sure it will make Howard and Lynda feel a lot better when they see it
[click here or on the pic for a larger view]
Picture of Billy from Alex

Comments

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1 yr and 1 week on since she died, Billie is still in my thoughts. Fi

so sad sorry for your loss

I like to eat sandwiches in the dark!!! &i love lambs. They make me happy

i'am so sorry for your loss,your in my prayers

Lynda: I am so very sorry for your loss.Billie is now pain free in pet heaven running free.

Haven't been on lambwatch for some time due to workload so when i read the news i was devastated. Me and all my family send our deepest sympathy. Your site gives us so much pleasure, we really feel your loss.

Dan & Lynda. I am so sorry to learn of Billie's death. And to lose the pheasant on the same day - just so sad.

RIP Billie. Thanks for this cool site.

Lynda, Howard, Dan & Ben, I'm so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time.

Thank you for sharing Billie with us while you had her. She lives on in our memories and on our DVDs. She brought a lot of pleasure to a lot of people. I guess God also looks at Lambwatch and He wanted one. There's one more angel in heaven.

What a sad day. I'm so sorry about Billie and the pheasant - and on the same day. What a lovely picture from Alex.

Very sad news. So sorry Dan, Howard, Lynda and Ben.

I was so upset to read that Billie has died at such a young age. I know that she has been well cared for and we have enjoyed watching her during the past few months. She will never be forgotten. I am also sorry to learn that your pet pheasant has gone to heaven. Dan, Howard and Lynda my thoughts are with you at this sad time.

sorry for your loss, great cam.

Oh what can I say that hasnt been said. I learned of Billie more or less second hand after reading a few comments on the chat. Reading the news and watching the film about Billie and looking at the picture Alex, Coquitlam sent has made me think that your sheep and lambs are just like part of the family, very hurtful when they become ill. Since we have all become like part of your extended family with watching the webcam, with this news we have all felt your sadness and my thoughts are with you, Lynda and Howard. xxx

I am so sorry about Billie and your pheasant and for both to happen on the same day is tragic. Watching the clip and llistening to the music was very moving. Billie will be sadly missed. Love to Howard, Lynda, Daniel and Ben x

sad to here of the death of billie,that was a lovely clip god bless

oh Lynda & Family We are so sorry for what happened to billie and pheasant. This is Alex, i am so sad for baby lambs mum i was crying allday lest i got to see pheasant in morning time when you were in view of cam lynda. They are in heaven now. and billie would like the clip daniel made up. Bye Alex