Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sheep are ready for lambing

Today I gave the ewes a booster vaccine for clostridium perfringens C and D and tetanus. 

Cinder is my normal helper for that job, since she is so good at it.  She just looks at the ewes and they stand still for their shots.   But I decided to give Hank a chance to practice this time and he did a great job.

  First, we sorted the ewes into a small paddock, then moved all the other sheep into the barn to get them out of the way.  Then we moved the ewes into the barn and did the vaccines in a stall so I could be out of the fairly heavy snow that was falling (but now seems to have stopped).    It seems like a complicated plan, but from trying several different ways over the years this is the easiest way.   Mainly because since the ewes get sorted off every day for feeding they expect to go through the gate first.   Changing their routine messes with everything and takes twice as long.   Also, it is impossible to sort at the barn door because of the way it slides and is heavy- it's just too awkward compared to a nice gate.  

I also looked at the calendar and decided my new ram lamb, Mugs, did not sire the babies this year.   He was pretty small when I put him in with the ewes last fall, and I just wasn't sure he was mature enough to get the job done.   So after leaving him with the ewes for two months I put old faithful Yogurt, the old ram, in as a back up plan.   Well, according to the calendar the lambs should have been born by now if Mugs was the sire.   So, it's all on Yogurt.  The ewes still look at least 2 weeks out from lambing to me.



Michael and Pepper
I also worked Pepper some today.   With her I am working on increasing the distance for a small gather, taking sheep off the fence.   I start close to the sheep and work my way back toward standing next to her and sending her.   We also worked on some short drives and a tiny bit of fetching, both out in the open and taking the sheep through gates.   Overall, a short but productive session.  

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