Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sad Lambs, Happy Dogs

Saturday was the lamb's 'b' day. And no, that doesn't stand for birthday, either. For the 4 ewe lambs, it wasn't that big a deal, just a dose of wormer down the throat. For the (former) ram lambs, however, yeah, it was a pretty big deal. Not only the wormer, but because I am a lazy shepherd, I waited probably a bit too long to wether them little buggers. Because now they weren't so little anymore. Just ask my helper, Dale, who was the one snagging and holding them. The biggest ones weighed close to 50 pounds! But at least this time, I took the time to verify that both, ahem, 'boy parts' were on the correct side of the band, unlike last time with poor Billy.

But first, the momma ewes and their babies needed to be penned in the working arena. Ho Dog and I put them in the working arena (well, mostly Ho put them in there, I just shut the gate behind them) and bless his old, creaky body and heart, he almost had them in the pen several times. Neither ewes nor lambs wanted any part of that pen; seems that nothing really good ever happens to them in there. They're always getting wormer shoved down their throats (to hear them tell it) or their feet trimmed (who complains about relaxing in a recliner while getting a pedicure anyway?) or their babies pulled from them, or they are getting wethered (btw, for those who are wondering, a wether is a 'neutered' male sheep) in that pen. Or, worse yet, the dog being trained to work in pens is flossing with their hair occasionally. So needless to say, those sheep really had to be man-handled into the pen, and the old man just isn't up to it anymore. Part of it is not being able to hear as well anymore, and part of it is not being as fast to stop an escape attempt anymore. But by golly, he still has it when it comes to gathering them back up and moving them back to the corner by the pens. He doesn't allow any escapes there and moves them slow enough that he can control both sides with relative ease. Which he needed to do, because my best ewe Twyla with her twins really is the hardest on my dogs, and she also doesn't like to flow with the flock very well, preferring to make a move to separate herself from them every chance she got. Ho simply wouldn't allow her to do that. But then, Dale and Gem the BC arrived, and for some reason, when she's out there Ho just goes into chase mode. Mostly because she does at the start. And Gem's biggest fault has always been that she leaves behind stock. Twyla is a smart ewe and knows that, so there was Ho, trying to haul Twyla down after Gem let her go (Gem does not like confrontation and knows Twyla will confront her) and there was Gem ignoring Dale as usual and moving the sheep where she wanted them, but eventually, we got them all in the pen and from there, it was just a matter of doing what needed to be done. Since I was out of wormer, we got the banding done early, then made a run to Coastal to grab some Ivermectin (and mulch from Lane Forest), then Hoke got the afternoon honours to pen them yet again (you think they didn't want to the first time, by this time they REALLY didn't want to!) and we whipped thru the worming, then let them all go.

But yes, the former ram lambs were quite sad afterwards and probably a bit on the touchy side as well. However, I had three tired (and one of them VERY tired) and very happy dogs.



Nurse Dorcas checks on her boys and one of the ewe lambs while one of the black boys gingerly wanders over to mom






The Old Man



Hoke



Gem the camera shy BC checks her foodbowl yet again to see if it has magically filled itself, a few hours before dinner



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