Apifera Farm - where art, story, animals & woman merge. Home to artist Katherine Dunn

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©Katherine Dunn.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The arrival

If you'd like to chip in for the new arrivals, please do and thank you too. We're increasing food consumption by 3 mouths- and they all have skinny bodies-that's about 7 additional pounds of feed a day.

They arrived on a hot afternoon, but came out of the trailer like immigrants looking over their new land, their home.

I got Floyd out first. He is a 13 year old wether sheep, most likely a Katahdin cross. I have never taken on a sheep due to the health of our own working flock, but I had a crush on Floyd for awhile, and something in him just spoke to me. And I am so glad. He is more like a giant dog than a sheep. He likes to go where I go, or stand next me and just hang out. When I leave, he bleats. When I arrive, he bleats. He is settling in, but the heat has made it uncomfortable even though there is plenty of shade. In time, he will find his place. Floyd is pretty arthritic, but not as crippled as I thought he was going to be. His pasterns are slightly fallen, and he will need supplemental feed at his age. But his teeth are good. he has a mystery skin issue on his rear end that the former vet could not figure out, and lots of work was done on it by the last rescue [New Moon Goat Farm], so we will just watch it for now.

But I will say this, Floyd is an exceptional creature. A bit on the Stevie wavelength-soulful, loving, kind, people oriented more than animal oriented.

I am more concerned about Victor. He is so thin, due to past neglect, and he is also a very slow eater. I watched him eat, and Sophie ate much of the food. I will need to separate them so I can make sure he is getting adequate feed. He was 50/50 survival rate when he landed at New Moon last month, so I do hope we can get quality weight on him. He has a great attitude, and is not bothered by his deformity in the hind end, although he needs to lay down a lot, so it does cause discomfort to stand. It is like his back legs don't stretch right, and he has all his weight on the front. Sophie is going to be fine once weight is put on her. I have found that sometimes in these severe neglect animals, they can have chronic sickness, and some don't make it. But we will always proceed with hope.

There is always chaos in the initial introductions here amongst new Misfits. And this time, we have the added element of Marcella the guard dog. The latter did very well for a 7 month old, I will admit, but she adds a new dimension to my tasks at this stage in her guarding career-in other words, she can really be a pain in the patuzzi! All in all though, she is not play chasing as much, and stops sooner when I say 'stop'.

These aren't great shots, but I am so tired in the heat, and all the excitement and chaos of new additions. They don't do anyone justice, but these were taken about an hour after arrival. Marcella is being pretty good today, and I left the new ones contained last night. I think eventually they will get along in the lower Misfit herd-where the most crippled are. But for now I want them up in the upper barn as I have more fenced stalls. See, I need that new barn!

Thank you to Ellen at New Moon for helping them, and to Cheryl Munson and her friend for making the 12 hour round trip to bring them here. It really helped me out!