Sunday, 7 April 2013

Spa Day for Sheep

Even though I'm sure sheep don't think of it like we do -- relaxing, meditative, pampering -- I am sure they feel better afterwards, when they are not so hot and their feet are flat on the ground again.

We have hair sheep, yes, but there's Stella (it's always Stella) who decided to be a hair sheep with wool, and a a BLACK sheep at that.  I could skip a year and have her sheared every second year, but given our Okanagan summers, that would be just mean.  We can get over 35C for days, sometimes weeks, on end in July or August.  And their feet?  Well, they grow... and grow... and if they're not trimmed at least once/year then the sheep can develop a whole host of problems from a compromised posture, to lameness, or even foot rot if some of the stuff they step in becomes lodged in the pockets of their hooves for too long.  And then that can develop into bacteria that then invades your whole pasture.  So, because I love my sheep and have this unspoken vow to care properly for the animals that we share our lives with, I fork out the money every spring for their spa treatment.

Besides.  The shearers are quick and do it properly and they don't live here.  My sheep will still see me as the nice one if I'm not the one flinging them to the ground.  It kinda looks like that.  But once you get them in a sitting position -- 

-- they can't really move around much.

Poor, dear Stella.  I am thankful that their lambs know them by smell and not by looks!  Sweet thing looks like her head is too big for her body!
Stella AFTER
Her lambs were happy to have their mama back!
All the lambs crowding at the gate to get away from the crazy people doing crazy things to their mamas!

Dulcie getting her nails done

I've been dealing with these shearers for several years now, on and off.  They used to come to our place to shear our llamas and alpaca several years ago before we sold them, and now they come for the sheep.  They are very efficient and thorough, not to mention complimentary.  Two years in a row now, they have said what a nice bunch of ewes we have (last year they thought we should breed them, obviously we listened), and this year were very impressed with the crop of lambs.  They also were saying how abundant the ewes' bags (udders) were.  Apparently, the hair sheep breeds are not always known for having substantial milk.  Ours apparently do.  I take these compliments to heart, as I do think I treat my "girls" very well, and they seem to be happy, as far as sheep go.

No comments:

Post a Comment