Archive for January 28, 2009

More New Additions

tunis20lambI came home today just ahead of a thunderstorm. I was running around feeding chickens and ducks, letting rams out to eat hay for a couple hours, running feed to momma with ewe lamb, and then running out to the ewe barn as the first raindrops started to fall. I had checked everybody this morning (pre-dawn) before rushing off to work, and everybody “appeared” to be normal. If they were having contractions, they weren’t sharing that with me, unlike the Montadale ewes that I used to have that would moan and groan loudly and need to have their hooves held, so to speak.

I saw a little nose peeking out from a lean-to attached to the side of the ewe barn, and found a ewe with newborn twin ewe lambs inside. Momma had the lambs cleaned, fed, and sheltered. I’ll check her again tonight, but she seems to be doing a fine job and her lil’ girls are already bouncing around playing.

I don’t want to get too celebratory over the three new ewe lambs yet and how this will help me rebuild my dog-ravaged flock; after all, I may come home tomorrow and find that they managed to hang themselves in a fence or drown themselves in a water tub. (Yes, both of these things have happened in the past along with a ewe lamb jumping around an azalea bush and catching her neck in a forked branch and hanging herself, a ewe lamb lying down for a nap on a fire ant bed and succumbing to anaphylactic shock from the bites, and lambs being stepped on and accidentally killed by non-parental ewes or deliberately killed by really bitchy ewes. Since I’ve gotten out of Montadales, I haven’t had any lambs killed by ewes.)

I’m cautiously optimistic that after a couple of years with hardly any ewe lambs born, mother nature may be having mercy on my small flock. *sigh* I hope I’m not jinxing myself.

I’ll post pictures as soon as I can; however, with my commute, I don’t have a lot of time before dark when I get home, and that time is spent running around getting the essentials done before dark.

Saturday I’ve got to make a trip up into middle Georgia, and I’m really worried about the sheep being okay while I’m gone for I have several more pregnant ewes waiting to lamb, and it’s going to be a nasty cold day Saturday, just the sort of weather ewes like to lamb in.

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Hiding China’s Bird Flu Outbreak

An article in Epoch Times mirrors what I’ve been thinking from the wide geographic location of the “sporadic and geographically isolated” bird flu victims:

In December 2008, H5N1 was discovered in chickens in Hong Kong. The Hong Kong government killed tens of thousands of birds, but avoided revealing the sources of the chickens under pressure from Chinese authorities. It is widely known that Hong Kong’s live poultry is provided by mainland Chinese suppliers. These birds could not have been infected with the virus after arriving in Hong Kong. This Hong Kong discovery may indicate a massive bird flu breakout in China, one which has been intentionally hidden by the government controlled media.

Unsurprisingly, soon after the Hong Kong breakout, news soon spread throughout the internet that millions of chickens died of H5N1 bird flu in south-eastern China’s Jiangsu Province in November 2008. These reports offered evidence that these dead chickens were simply bleached with hydrogen peroxide and sold to Shanghai, Shandong and Henan provinces.

As authorities continue to conceal this critical information, unscrupulous businesses in China take advantage of the environment, putting the public in unnecessary danger of contacting disease from contaminated sources. Chinese media claimed that a 19-year-girl from Beijing who died on January 5, 2009 was the first victim of the new wave of H5N1 breakout. But was she really the first?

The reported human bird flu cases appeared in different areas of China, which may mean H5N1 has spread to a vast range of areas throughout the country through unregulated channels as diseased chickens go to market. One need only consider the Chinese communist regime recent behavior in covering up SARS to realize that the official government reports might not tell the whole story. It casts serious doubt on the credibility of the claim that there are only four cases of humans contracting the virus. Might they be just the tip of an iceberg?

According to China, there haven’t been any outbreaks of bird flu in poultry. My question was, who is lying? Local officials that are covering up a potential financial disaster due to widespread poultry disease? The health ministry that does not want people (foreigners) to know how serious this outbreak could be? How many people are dying without having been checked for the presence of H5N1?

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21-Year-Old Indonesian Woman Dies of Suspected H5N1

From AFP:

JAKARTA (AFP) — A 21-year-old Indonesian woman has died of suspected bird flu, a doctor said Wednesday.

The woman died on Saturday in Doctor Soetomo Hospital in Surabaya, East Java, after showing bird flu symptoms, said Palilingan, a doctor in the hospital’s avian flu team who like many Indonesians goes by only one name.

“She had breathing difficulties, high fever and lost consciousness,” Palilingan told AFP.

He said the presence of the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus would have to be confirmed after testing of tissue samples.

Two positive results are needed before Indonesian authorities confirm a human bird flu infection.

A health ministry spokeswoman said the ministry had sent experts to check on the condition of poultry in the woman’s village in Tulungagung district, East Java.

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