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News Update - Pink Eyes & New Faces!

It's been a while since we posted an update on the latest news at the farm, so here is one!

After the lambs go to market, we keep the mothers inside for a while to "dry off" i.e. stop producing milk. The last lot that were kept indoors developed an extremely contagious eye infection known as Pink Eye, or New Forest Eye, which causes their eyes to go opaque resulting in nearly if not complete blindness until it gets treated. Treating the disease is a physically demanding job as it involves giving the sheep an injection of strong penicillin (which they aren't too keen on!) as well as the squirting of some special paste into each of their eyes - a bit like thick eye drops, whilst ensuring that as little contact with the eye is made as possible, to avoid further infection in the sheep. This had to be done to each sheep every three to four days until the infection cleared up. It took nearly two weeks of treatment before the problem cleared up so it was very tiring for everyone at the farm.

Thankfully though, after a week or two, the infection cleared up and the sheep could see again! At this stage we let the sheep out back into the LambWatch field! You may have noticed that for a few days, the LambWatch sign was covered up with a rubber mat to prevent the sheep rubbing against it and rubbing out all the medicine in their eyes and also to prevent the spread of the infection in case there was any lingering infection.

Today we received the medicine bill from the vet for the medicine for this treatment alone... it came to £150 plus VAT! Although this is a lot, we knew it was going to be so it was not unexpected, though the infection was unexpected.

Further news on the farm is that you may have noticed we have had three visitor sheep from the neighbour's farm stay in the LambWatch field the past week or so. We were wondering if they were trying to determine if the grass was greener on the other side! You can see some photos of the three visitor sheep in the camgrabs gallery (see Galleries and then CamGrabs Gallery in the menu above) as they test out the sign for a scratch!

These three sheep were returned to their home flock by their farmer a day or so ago and the gap in the fence has been fixed. If you see them again on the webcam, it means they have got through again and crossed over the beck (river) in the bottom of the valley to the LambWatch field again! They have been sighted pacing up and down the fence today, where the gap has been fixed, obviously looking for new gaps in the fence to get through! Maybe the grass is greener on the other side?

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Lynda, Thanks for the update. What an ordeal for you. Pink Eye is so contagious and horrible to clear up in humans, never mind in sheep. Hopefully it is all gone!! Blessings, Nancy

Thanks for the update. We really do care about what happens on the farm and wish we could do something to help.

Well done Lynda and Howard - saving the sight of all the infected sheep must have been very hard work and taken up a lot of time and patience. It was nice to see the three intruders as they looked to be so full of mischief. Thanks for giving us all the news.

Glad they are feeling better howard and lynda good caring farmers.

Hi, Lynda, I asked Dan to add another picture of the intruders as well, so there are two picgures o f the Swaledale sheep there now. I'm glad you were able to bring the infection in your own sheep under control. Very worrying for you, and very costly as well. I hope they all stay healthy now.

Thanks for the update, I realize what hard work it is to treat New Forest Disease , as we had a out break in our cattle in the 1950, the vet at the time said it had spread to the other cattle from eating at the Silage face, where they would be in close contact. I know that every cost reduces the pofit margin, but to look on the bright side I think if they had been domestic pets the cost would have been a lot more. At least it was a problem although hard work that you were able to clear up good luck

You have done so well to save the sight of the sheep and to get them back to full health. Obviously the sheep from across the valley wanted to enjoy some of the grass in the Lambwatch field and have their piccies on the net! Fame at last!

Hello, I saw the snow comming the day before yesterday.The win was very strong and from here in Brasil I can fill the cold´Sorry about the english but the webcam is fantastic. bye bye