Disabled Farming

shorn Jenny

So when you have domesticated animals, there is no such things as a day off, no matter what.  These animals have been bred so they cannot survive in the wild and need the assistance of humans for their food, shelter, water, maintenance and occasionally medical treatments.  And for this they have also been bred to provide as products such as milk, meat and fiber and sometimes labor.  This is the ancient contract.

But this means that it is our responsibility to provide for them despite illness and injury.  So today, on top of the usual feeding and watering, I trimmed the wool off of Jenny today.  She is one of our ancient sheep that we are taking care of in her elder years for all the wool and lambs she has given us.  We could not shear her with the rest of the sheep  because she was at risk of dying of hypothermia then.  But now time is of the essence.  Even though it is 40 degrees some mornings, she needs to be sheared so she can grow some wool before winter.  Plus this wool is  a lot of weight for her to carry around.  Finally it has some urine and poop on it which puts her at risk of fly strike and death.  So despite my back I carefully sheared her today.  I put her on the stand and was attentive to my posture.  I gave her treats to try and keep her still, and we got the job done.  My back does not seem worse for it.  The photos are of her afterwards, the lower one shows Bob who also needs shearing.  So I have 7 more elder sheep to go.  I am going to try to do one per day with care.

shorn Jenny and Bob

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