Shouldn’t every sheep have a recliner for their mani-pedi?? A pleasure for both sheep and shepherd? Well that was the plan, anyway….
Here is what the chair looks like in the catalog:
The idea is to simply back the sheep up till it hits the low bar in the back of its knees. Then it sits down into the mesh, pulling its whole body in, where it will be held immobile for a number of possible tasks.
Today I needed to trim hooves and clip facial hair that may be encroaching on the eyes to prevent wool blindness. The chair is adjusted ahead of time to the proper width with a wrench. It can be changed but is not a quick job. So Dave put it at the largest proportion since we have fairly large sheep and they are quite wooly right now.
We randomly grabbed the first ewe to try, Daphne, and pushed her into position. She happens to be one of our largest ewes. Let’s just say she wasn’t squeezing between those two bars for nothing. Meanwhile, Dave was trying to heave her nearly 300lbs up into the contraption. Total failure.
So we moved to someone smaller. That would be Gretchen, the smallest one on the farm at 7 months old. She is the picture above and here:
She was too small–wallowing in it, but it worked well enough. I just had to hold her so she wouldn’t flail and get caught in the netting. Then we did Gabriel, our new ram, who is 11 months old, and that worked fine.
Then back to the adults. Next went Felicia–very average sized in our flock. We got her butt in, but much of her flesh hung out like a pot belly over a belt. Just too small for her.
So we ended up doing the lion’s share of the work the old-fashioned, back-breaking way….
I’m going to call the company tomorrow to see if they have any suggestions for our apparently monstrous sheep. Dave may have to just go buy some longer crosspieces to put in there. Stay tuned!