Spring Sheep Maintenance

Today we finished the spring sheep maintenance.  Last week we did 11 sheep, and I almost could not walk after that.  Today we did 14 sheep.  Spring maintenance involves trimming and treating hooves, checking condition (skinniness, conjunctiva color and fleece quality), giving copper supplements, and injecting CDT shots.  Here is the equipment needed.

We are using the leg stanchion technique.  Lady Madonna is demonstrating it.

I got on the ground and trimmed the hooves, treated them with Desitin, checked their condition and gave their shots.  Tom caught them, held them in the leg stanchion and gave the copper boluses.  We have struggled with these boluses in the past because the capsules for 3 grams of copper oxide are too small for our bolus guns.  So this year I made the small capsules but then put them inside large gelatin capsules that fit in our gun.  It worked well.  

There were no surprises this year.  The hooves for the most part were better than expected.  Their body condition was as expected, and the conjunctiva color was all good. The fleeces were as expected as well.  Now we are gearing up for shearing next week.

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4 Responses to Spring Sheep Maintenance

  1. Jeanne says:

    I found this very interesting. Love learning all about how people’s animals are cared for. What is the copper for? How do you administer that, with your gun? I’m totally in the dark.

    I’m looking forward to the shearing… I know it’s a lot of work! Saw a video from the Black Sheep Gathering of a gal who sheared a sheep. She did an excellent job! Are you going to Black Sheep this year? Our daughter and I go every year. It’s going to be very different, going to Albany instead of Eugene!

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    • Donna says:

      The copper is because we have issues with copper deficiency here due to the molybdenum in our soil. It also helps with parasites. A baling gun is a plastic or metal large pill dispenser for animals, not really a gun. I just made my reservations for Black Sheep this year. I go every 3 years or so. This time we are taking the train because the drive home is usually so ugly. I agree Albany is going to take some getting used to. It would be nice to see you there!

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      • Jeanne says:

        I’m glad to know you’ll be at Black Sheep! Will you have a booth? Or are you taking classes? My daughter has taken classes, but I have not. When i told her you are going to be there, she got excited. She’s on Ravelry, and also follows this blog. The train will be a really nice way to travel there. I hope we can meet you. We usually only go on Saturday.

        Thanks for explaining about the copper deficiency, and all.

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      • Donna says:

        No booth and no classes this year. I may bring a fleece and knitted garments for judging. I look forward to seeing you there.

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