Sunday, February 5, 2012

Spa Day for the Girls

Okay, so it wasn't a really swanky spa like the Golden Door down in San Diego County. But it was time for their mani-pedi's and special elixir - Ivermectin, a dewormer - so Ho Dog and I put 'em in the lambing pen in the big silver barn and locked the door to stop any non-paying customers from escaping. The 6 mother ewes are due to lamb starting around the end of the month, and the four yearling ewes (and Big Mike, the wether) needed to learn the routine. When the mud settled, everyone had freshly trimmed hooves, a dose of the good stuff, and an orange butt (so we could tell who'd been done and who hadn't). Dale was my catcher, and a good one he is. Behind the sheep in the first shot you'll see a blue thing that appears to be leaning up against the front of the pen. The second shot is of the set up. This device is known as a deck chair or sheep cradle, and if you are poor like us and can't afford a tilt-table, this is the next best thing. Dale catches a sheep, walks her over to the chair, faces her butt towards the bottom of it and simply pushes her backwards so she is lying on her back in the cradle. Then I go in and start trimming hooves and getting kicked, bruised and bloodied. Dale gets kicked too, but not usually as hard or as much as I do. I really need to learn to pay closer attention. Then a dose of Ivermectin via big syringe down the throat, quick check of teats, udders and other girl parts involved in the lambing process, and Dale pulls her up and back on her feet and she's off. Then we start the whole process again for the next one. Twyla, my best ewe, knows the routine well and was of course good as gold, lying quietly and then simply walking away afterwards. The four little girls fought vainly but valiantly, and Big Mike was simply a huge, uncooperative mass of hair and hooves until he got flipped into the chair, but trying to GET probably 150 pounds of rowdy two year old wether into something he doesn't want to get into really tuckered us out. But finally the job was done and I opened the Judas door to let everyone out, where they promptly went back to grazing in the somewhat warm sunshine on a fine, rare Western Oregon winter's day.

Wondering why the door is shut and not liking it

The sheep chair, with wormer, syringe, blood stop powder (more for me than them), trimmers and orange spray paint for the butts

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