Sheep are very easy to keep most of the year. Probably the most labor-intensive time is in the spring during shearing and lambing. The second most labor-intensive time was today!
Many of the ewes needed their coats changed–as their wool grows they need to be switched into larger coats about 3x through the year. While the coat is off we take the opportunity to examine how the wool looks. Below is Felicia. We were anxious to see hers since she is a lamb and this is her first fleece.
After changing the covers, I check the eye membranes for signs of parasite load. As a new flock management procedure we only deworm those who need it. Many flocks are becoming resistant to the deworming products from overuse. Several needed the dewormer. One ewe, Ellie, I will have to keep an eye on as she was quite anemic. I can’t use it once they become pregnant so now is the time.
Next we trim the hooves. I say we, it is the royal we, cause Dave does that. It is back breaking and hard on the hands. So I hold the sheep in place while he trims. Except when I’m shooting the picture and he gets to do both! 🙂
After all the girls were done, it is time to switch to the boys, but we ran out of time today since my store opens at noon. So they will get done in a few days. After that we will let the boys and girls mingle to make lambies for spring.
Finally, we corralled Frank and Fern to send them to market. I was unable to sell them as breeding stock so they will be auctioned off, most likely to a butcher or restaurant. We also sent off our one goat, Truffles. She is unfriendly, barren and a fence hopper–nothing good to recommend her. She will most likely be purchased by someone in the local Arab or Puerto Rican community as that is who eats goats.
So off Dave drove to the auction while I got ready to open my shop. I was surprisingly busy in the store today–odd for October– and now I’m seriously ready to get some shut-eye…but since this is NaBloWriMo, I made the effort to get this post up tonight. I am 18 posts for 18 days! ZZZzzzzzzzz…….