August 29, 2010


Today we had to administer the anti-parasite medicine to all the sheep.

Quick recap for those who didn't see the previous post. Notag got very sick. We had the vet run labs. She and everyone else had a lot of a particular parasite. Thus they all need shots to get rid of the bugs. (It's kind of like when you get strep throat - time for antibiotics.)

My parents came over to help and we got started at 11:30am. Junior has been on the side with the pole barn for the past couple of months. The pole barn has gates that can keep sheep in a small area. Plus, the pole barn has posts that we can tie sheep off to. So this is the best place for sheering, trimming hooves and giving shots. My dad and Jeremy held Junior while I trimmed his hooves and gave the shot. (I had experience giving shots with our first ewe who got really sick. We treated her for two months but she didn't get better.) Junior, other than being strong, was the easiest, by far, to deal with. Then he was put out to pasture ... wait, I mean we put him out onto the pasture.

Then we moved the ewes and lambs from the pasture they were on, into the pole barn. Tricky bits of pushing and herding (I see when people use dogs to do this work.) But we got them to the pole barn - 12 sheep in a small space is a bit over whelming. We started with Notag and Bubby - easy peasy. Then came the fun.

Me and my dad would block, while Jeremy scrimmaged and grabbed a sheep - whichever one he could get his hands on. Then, after wrestling the sheep to the ground, he and my dad would hold her down while I trimmed hooves. Mom prepped the shots and give to me to administer. (Mom also had to run around the pole barn depending on where Jeremy was able to pin the sheep down. We all got a great bit of exercise.)

The second sheep kicked Jeremy in the knee and head-butted him in the ear. I thought Jeremy might pass out, but he held it together. The forth sheep head-butted my dad square on the chin. Dad said he could see stars, literally. The lambs were much, much stronger then they looked. They would kick and wiggle and kick. It was touch and go if I could get the shot into the lamb and not into Jeremy's arm.

All said it took until 2:15pm to finish the animals. Even with all the craziness, kicking and head-butting we only had one sheep injury. I punctured Blacky with tip of the hoof shears. It was a small wound thankfully but still required a topical antibacterial wash.

Tomorrow we have to go back to work. You know when you see those bumper stickers that say "The worst day ----- is better then then best day working." Well today was not my worst day farming (not even close), but it was hard and it was better then my best day working. Wish I could farm all the time!

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