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Winter 2011/12

At the end of November we received a phone call from a gentleman who had heard about Fleecehaven whilst out playing skittles. He had a pet sheep that he was no longer able to keep as he and his family were moving. He really didn’t want to send her to market and asked if Fleecehaven would be willing to take her on. Of course we agreed and just a few days later went to visit her at her home near North Molton. Plans were made for her to join us at Fleecehaven, but as the sheep from Birmingham had only just joined us we were rather tight for space. However, we managed to make some room in one of our stables and on the 3rd December, Skittles (as we had now called her) made her short journey to Fleecehaven.

Fleecehaven News

Skittles, Holly and Ivy

‘ P R O M O T I N G H U M A N B E H A V I O U R T O W A R D S A N I M A L S B Y P R O V I D I N G C A R E , P R O T E C T I O N , T R E A T M E N T A N D S E C U R I T Y ’

Volume 5, Issue 3

sheared and was sporting a very thick and shaggy fleece, with quite a lot of vegetation tangled up in it. After taking advice from our vet we decided that the best thing we could do for her was to get her sheared and, as she was being housed during her quarantine period, we could keep her under a heat lamp. She clearly felt much better once she was rid of her fleece but she did keep looking longingly out of her stable at the other sheep milling around in the yard. It was a pity that she had not come with a companion. This problem was quickly solved when, on the 16th December, we found a lamb wandering alone in a neighbouring field. We brought her in and were able to identify her owner through her ear tag. She had escaped from a small flock of young lambs not far from Fleecehaven. It was agreed that as she had shown the initiative to escape she should remain here, together with a companion lamb from her own flock. We introduced them both to Skittles and they bonded instantly. As it was Christmas we decided to call them Holly and Ivy. Now they are all running freely with the FleeceSkittles shortly after she arrived haven flock and are always toSkittles very quickly settled into gether, with Holly and Ivy obediher new quarters, but we were ently trotting around behind their concerned that she had never been adoptive mum!

Inside this Issue: Lamb Rescue Winterlude 2011/2012 Newsbleat Sadly Missed

2,3 4,5 6,7,8 8

Skittles with Holly and Ivy

Lamb Rescue On 15th January, Fleecehaven rescued fifteen bles close to the house where they were kept six month old lambs, all of whom were des- quiet and warm whilst they recovered. tined for slaughter. They were in a pitiful condiBuster tion, worm ridden and suffering from a variety recovering of ailments due to neglect. As with all new from his sheep to Fleecehaven, they needed to go into operation quarantine until they were fully vaccinated this is for their own protection, as well as insuring the well-being of the existing flock. As the sheep from Birmingham had now moved into the big sheds with the rest of the flock, we were able to set up the red barn as their base. Brian recuperating in the garden

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence!

Morgan, named by Kerry

On the 27th January our vet visited again to give the lambs their first vaccination. Whilst out, he treated them all with antibiotics again, as Precious, the smallest lamb, had a nasty eye infection and we were concerned that it could The lambs shortly after they arrived at be contagious and spread amongst the rest of Fleecehaven the lambs. A week later Buster and Brian were returned to the red barn where the rest of the Our vet visited them the day after they arrived lambs were clearly very pleased to see them. and gave them all a thorough health-check. As they were malnourished and in poor condition, they would need to be slowly built up over a period of time. They were treated with antibiotics, wormer and multivitamins in the hope that this would ward off a multitude of possible problems. During their health-check, our vet discovered that two of the boys were still entire and would need to be castrated once they had settled into their new life. We set about feeding the lambs a small quantity of lamb nuts twice daily, and it was not long before they began to get used to this daily routine. Little by little their confidence in us began to grow and we were able to get closer to them. On the 24th January the boys, who had now been named Buster and Brian, were taken to our veterinary hospital to be castrated. The procedure went well and they were kept in over-night for observation. They returned home the following day and were housed in one of our staPage 2


Lamb Rescue continued At the end of February the lambs were given Fleecehaven they will receive the care that their second vaccination. A couple of days they truly deserve and will hopefully have later they were drenched again with a view to long and contented lives. them being released into the fields early in March.

Poor Lou Lou losing her fleece, probably due to stress

Cynthia, named after one of our benefactors

In just the few weeks that they have been at Fleecehaven the lambs have already made remarkable progress. They are beginning to put on weight and their general demeanour is much brighter. They have become remarkably tame and are now starting to behave as one would expect.

So far, ten of the lambs have been named Cynthia, Morgan (adopted by Kerry), Precious, Buster, Brian, Hugo, Harvey, Humphrey, Lou Lou, and Jasper. The remaining five (one boy and four girls) are yet to be named, so if you would like to suggest a name, please let us know. All of the lambs are available for adoption via our website. Updates on their progress will be given on our Facebook group, which can be found via: 090426/

Tucking in to some tasty hay

Some of them are still quite vulnerable and will no doubt need a great deal of care in the future, but rest assured that now they are at VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2

Emma with some of the lambs enjoying the early spring sunshine Page 3

Winterlude 2011/2012

Sandy waiting expectantly for a treat

Phillip enjoying tickles from Emma

Alfie bleating as he heads out for a day of grazing

Sammy with the tale-tale signs of molasses all over his nose!

George - one of the Bromsgrove Rovers

Bethany, Nathaniel and Jenny visiting on New Year’s Day

Charlie posing for the camera

Emma with Annie

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William pausing whilst enjoying a dry winter’s day

Bissy watching over Minty as he saunters up the hill

Willaby Oak tucking in to his breakfast

Winter grazing in the dappled shade

Woolly opening his Christmas present from Dawn

Blackie enjoying some solitude whilst nibbling on the winter grass

Bassett scrunching around in the winter leaves as she heads into the Golden Field

Murphy being watched by Martha


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Newsbleat Winter at Fleecehaven has seemed long and hard. Although we have been blessed with considerably less snow than last year it has been incredibly wet and windy. The sheep hate the rain and have barely left the comfort of their sheds or stables. This has resulted in a relentless round of mucking out. Thankfully toward the end of November we finally took delivery of our dung trailer. Up until now we have been borrowing a trailer whilst waiting for a second-hand one to become available, which could be done up. The new trailer is deeper than the one we were borrowing, which has reduced the number of dung collections required. That said, in just three months it was emptied six times between the beginning of November and the end of February. Goodness only knows how many bags of dung poor Emma has filled up, taken down to the trailer and emptied out during that time!

Emma emptying out yet more bags of dung into the trailer

With the sheep being housed for much of the winter their consumption of hay has inevitably been greater than normal. In just three months over 300 bales of hay were delivered. All had to be unloaded from the trailer and carefully stacked in either the hay loft above the red barn or in the hay barn in the yard. Yet more back breaking work for Emma, made worse by knowing that each stored bale Page 6

of hay would shortly have to be moved again to fill up hay racks - always done with a smile though!

Emma starts to unload the latest delivery of hay

Just before Christmas our vet came out to check over one or two sheep that we had minor concerns about. Skittles, Holly and Ivy had their first vaccination; Bea, Gemma, Clover and Vashti all had antibiotics for chesty coughs; and Shaun had antibiotics for an earlier abscess on his cheek that was still a little weepy. Unfortunately we had to call him out again on Christmas Eve as we were concerned about Noah. He was given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and seemed, for the time being, to settle down. Christmas Day at Fleecehaven is much like any other. The sheep still need to be looked after and there is little time to stop and participate in the festivities of the season. However, as has now become traditional at Fleecehaven, this was the day that we started to feed the entire flock on coarse mix. There was much anticipation as the troughs were filled with an even coating of the sticky, molasses coated mixture containing ingredients such as wheat, barley, maize, soya, linseed, peas, sugar beet and essential vitamins and trace minerals. The mixture has to be carefully checked for any large lumps that could cause choking, before the sheep are let out of the sheds in a mad rush towards the troughs. Some of the sheep are more prone to choke than others and so they are kept Continued on page 7 F L E E CE H A V E N N E W S

Newsbleat Continued back and fed separately in small groups where they can be monitored more closely. The sheep will continue to be fed now until the spring grass contains sufficient goodness to sustain them through the warmer months.

Christmas Day Lunch

Throughout February, Victoria gave us great cause for concern. Initially she collapsed, had a very high temperature and appeared to be having a fit. We called our vet immediately and whilst he was with us she fitted again. She was treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. He was unsure as to what was causing the temperature and fitting but took bloods to run a general profile. Within an hour or so her temperature had come down greatly and all we could do was monitor her. Within a couple of days she was back to normal and eating well. Her blood results showed nothing untoward and we thought that whatever was troubling her had passed. However, a week later her temperature shot up again and over the period of a week our vet visited on a regular basis to repeat the treatment she had earlier been given. At the end of the week she suddenly developed bloat and had to be tubed by our vet to release the gases. Thankfully ever since then she has made a full recovery and is now very much back to her normal self, pottering around the yard and constantly bleating for food and treats.

As the New Year got underway our vet paid us another visit. He treated Noah again, who was continuing to cause us concern. He felt that his breathing difficulties were as a result of an inflammation in the tracheae and with on-going anti-inflammatory and antibiotics he is currently stable. Shaun and Bea also had antibiotics, whilst Sandy’s foot was examined. Over Christmas he had developed an abscess that Emma had treated by trimming and dressing every other day. Despite this he still seemed to be a little lame but our vet confirmed that the abscess appeared to have subsided. However, just a week later the abscess erupted again and needed to be drained out by our vet. Thankfully after a short course of antibiotics Sandy has made a full recovery. Whilst out he also treated Woolly who had become lame due to swelling in his left hock. This is as a result of arthritis following the dog attack that led to Victoria fully recovered and enjoying a facial Woolly being rehomed at Fleecehaven. The swelling seems to have settled down again Toby was also poorly during February. Iniand Woolly is back to his old self for the tially he was troubled by an abscess in his time being. foot, which was successfully treated. He VOLUME 5, ISSUE 2

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Newsbleat Continued

Fleecehaven Howley Park East Buckland North Devon EX32 0TD 01598 760454 Registered Charity No 1111004


‘Promoting humane behaviour towards animals by providing care, protection, treatment and security’

then developed a high temperature which was treated with antibiotics and we are continuing to monitor him on a daily basis. Dumpling, Paddington and Richard have also been under the weather with chesty coughs, but all have made a full recovery following antibiotic treatment. Bluey has managed to keep himself out of trouble over the winter months. He did, however, have his blood taken at the beginning of January in order to check his levels. Our vet was pleased to report that his levels had increased significantly since they were last tested. On-going monitoring of him will be required and his blood will be retested in early March. Bluey pottering in the winter sunshine

Sadly Missed Bea, Aged 20

The winter very sadly saw us lose one of our greatest characters, Bea. She died suddenly from a heart attack, but we take great solace in the fact that she was enjoying life to the full right up until her final moments. Those of you who met her will know what an absolute star she was, always busying herself around the yard and making her presence felt. Her passing has left a great void in the hearts of all at Fleecehaven, including her two boys, Richard and Phillip. Page 8


Fleecehaven Newsletter Winter 2011