Walter was a Cotswold ram, a beautiful animal who was gentle natured and friendly. He was halter trained, but I just needed to put my arm around his big old neck and he would go where I needed him to go. Walter arrived here in the winter three years ago and when he was sheared in the spring, it was evident there was something drastically wrong. He was covered with oozing sores and he was very thin. I called the vet and he came out, took blood and stool samples and skin scrapings and prescribed some medicines for poor Walter. He improved, but did not gain enough weight and suffered somewhat during the next winter.
Then in the spring, something was wrong again. The vet saw Walter again and took more tests. All he could tell me was that there was some coccidia in his stool and her prescribed Amprolium for 21 days, which caused a thiamine deficiency and nearly did Walter in. I found him down and unable to get up. I picked up his head and cried, but was not ready to let him go and I fed him milk replacer several times a day until he was strong enough to eat on his own. He made it through the summer and theh winter, though was just not heavy enough to be strong.
Walter has several babies on this farm. He was the main breeding ram the second winter he was here and the lambs he sired were healthy and robust and grew to be very large strong sheep, as he should have been. He was mated this fall, his last mating, with 43Y, the purebred Cotswold ewe and that was his only mating, so as not to tax him. I do not know if she is pregnant or not, but I sure hope so.
Walter will be greatly missed on the farm. I will always look for his big head and soft eyes seeking me out, hoping for some treats. Goodbye, my friend, and thank you for your babies. You were a wonderful ram.