Saturday, June 30, 2012

Shearing Lambs in Twelve Easy Steps

Trimming hooves
1. Take two pieces of electric netting and make a laneway down the driveway from the sheep paddock towards the new garage. Where the netting crosses the pavement, use vehicles as fence props.
Setting up the netting laneway
2. Set up a catch pen next to the garage, to use as a corral while shearing.

3. Put an eye bolt in the garage wall stud to attach the leg tie-outs to.  Get the let tie-outs ready, and also put down a rubber mat for the sheep to lay down on.

Leg tie-outs for shearing

4. Gather all the needed supplies - shears, combs, cutters, blood-stop, iodine, hoof trimmers, bleach, herbal wormer, alfalfa pellets, a 5-gallong bucket, bathroom scale, Excel spreadsheet page with all the lambs listed and a place to record a variety of information.

Trimming supplies
5. Run power to the new garage from the old garage.
6. Open the paddock to the lane way and start calling the sheep.

Are you talkin' to me?

7. Run down the road to stay ahead of them as they follow you into the catch pen. Shut them all in, then select one to start with.
8. Shear him like an alpaca because you don't know how to shear a sheep by parking it on its butt. But you do know how to shear an alpaca by tying it out.
9. After shearing, pick up the lamb and stand on a bathroom scale.  Scale will error out.  Step off scale and repeat until arms break. Subtract your weight. Record the lamb's weight. 
10. Trim the lamb's hooves, soaking the trimmers in bleach/water solution between each hoof. When you find a bad one, do the basic trim then give it to Papa Bear to finish off, since he's more aggressive in cutting away the icky stuff. 
11. Record condition of each hoof (is hoof rot present?), check his/her eye color, record symptoms of pink eye & spray eyes if pink eye symptoms exist, dip all four feet in iodine (we use an old salsa jar for this), let the lamb have a treat of alfalfa pellets topped with herbal wormer while you clean up the fleeces and feces. 

Treat time!

12. Repeat until your back breaks and you call it a day.

The End

The End.


Jess said...

Holy cow (sheep?). You did it yourself!? Way to go!

Victoria Strauser said...

Yep... it's not as fast using this method, but it's safe and effective, so until we learn the butt-sitting method it'll have to do. :)

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