Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Shepherdess Notes: Dirty Jobs

Penned up, for inspection

 I really enjoy owning sheep! But on occasion there are dirty jobs attached to sheep ownership.

This week has been humid, and or rainy-not the most pleasant times to work with sheep. I woke up to cooler temps and a nice breeze, and decided today will be the day. If you are going to do an unpleasant job, you might as well do it when you can at least enjoy the weather!

In July, we run the sheep in a holding pen, and individually check their condition, if needed they are given dewormer, and we separate the Ram lambs from the flock.

When you work with sheep, handling equipment is necessary, it doesn't have to be anything fancy, but you do need some way to confine them and move them from one area to another. There is nothing worse than chasing sheep around in circles! Trust me, I have spent many a day using that technique-it is a hair pulling experience!

Mabel, on of our oldest ewes, and the first to volunteer to cooperate

Today, it went very smoothly! I am a happy shepherdess, when it works out that way

Why do I call it a dirty job?

Poop-Dirt-Mud-Sheep Slobber

Even when the job goes smoothly, you are going to get dirty, maybe even slobbered on by some ewe, who insist she doesn't need dewormer.

One of my favorite Border Leicester Ewes-not going to pose!

We managed to get the older ewes through the chute first, they have experience with this whole thing, and they take it in stride. The last little bit, is spent dealing with the lambs, who unlike their mothers, have not been through the ropes, and do not appreciate what we are trying to do.  Thankfully, we didn't have any break-outs and the ram lambs were successfully separated from the ewes.

They will spend the next two or three days in protest- Here are some of the soon-to- be, Whiny Boys Club inductees.

We  had a couple of lambs that were not doing so well. With all of that wool, you really need to get your hands on them, to be able to tell their condition. I am glad we chose to do this today. Poor guys, will be getting some special treatment over the next few weeks.

I know that some of these pictures are not Glamour Shots, but they are a dose of reality, of what raising sheep sometimes entails.

So even though, I went out clean, and came in dirty, I was happy to have the job DONE!

What Dirty Jobs do you have going on at your Place?
I know we all have them!

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  1. I can imagine how good it felt to have that out of the way. Hoof trimming is my dreaded job.

    1. Yes, I don't like hoof trimming, especially with some of the crazy goats!
      Thankfully, the sheep do not require it that often.

  2. Oh I am sure there were some loud protesters! I bet you are glad that job is over with! I just love each unique face!

    1. Liz, they were really good until night, started around 11!

  3. Same as you yesterday! The boys are getting tutered today :-/.

    1. I dislike that job!
      But you gotta do what you gotta do.
      Hope all goes well.

  4. A buck. He gets smelly, dirty, and yuck. You know what they do when fall arrives, so it's not pleasant. Daughter mucks the goat stalls, but we rotate the chicken coop.

  5. There is always at least one dirty job....I used to dread preg testing cows...it was inevitable I got to work in the chute and get poo covered! The vet always had a fancy full covering wet suit and apron but he still looked pretty green at the end of it all!

    1. Wow, you have got me beat, when it comes to dirty jobs!
      What we do for our animals (ha ha)

  6. I understand! I have a couple of jackets that have horse dewormer stains.

  7. At a local farm near me, they were shearing sheep this past weekend. I stopped by to see the process + one of the sheep got out of their holding pen! Oh my goodness, was it hysterical - all of us running around, trying to get our hands back on the runaway sheep. Looks like you have a great set-up to make sure they stay put!

    PS - That photo of the sky is gorgeous! It looks like the clouds will pop right out of the picture.

    1. Yes, runaway sheep will give you quite the workout!!


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