Monday, February 13, 2017

Assisted Living

Getting old can be tough whether you're human or a four legged critter.  Your teeth can give you trouble (or jump ship altogether), arthritis makes it painful to get around, it's hard to keep your weight up, your eyesight may fail and even your toenails get thick and hard to cut!  Hopefully you live where someone cares and tries to help make old age less of a hardship.

We offer "assisted living" for the oldest flock members. (Thecrazysheeplady in KY has Del Boca Vista for her geriatric friends).  If you are getting to an age where the other sheep push you around or you just need more time and better hay in the feeder you get moved here.  We even divided it further into two smaller groups because Pickles is a bully who punches anyone she can is assertive.  She's in a pen with girls that are bigger and don't take any guff,

Pickles, Fiesta, Kahlua and Gilly

The adjacent pen houses Dollar, India, Bunny, Ruby......

"I have teefers, they just wobble some."

And Bug.

"I have teefers and a good appetite!"

With the passing of Drambui and Alexandria, Bug has recently picked up the unwanted title of 'most needy old ewe' by becoming quite arthritic in her front legs and having trouble getting around.  (Kind of like being the oldest man in the world -you don't really want the title but you don't want to give it up either!!!)    She's now on anti-inflammatories and we're hoping for a boost in her ability to get around without hobbling. 

And Kittin is still in kitty assisted living in the wool shop.  She's fat and happy and impaired to the point that it's not safe to let her try to handle the rigors of being an outside cat.  But with the help of Aunt Julie's newest catnip toy she's trying to manage.  ;-)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Nursery Furniture

One can never have enough equipment for handling sheep and sometimes you really NEED more equipment.  Brian Magee, the gentleman who used to shear our sheep is also a shepherd himself and operates his flock using the Star System which he and Doug Hogue designed when he worked at Cornell University.  This system breaks a breeding flock into five groups which lamb in a staggered sequence around the calendar and evens out lamb production so one theoretically has lambs ready for market several times a year rather than one seasonal glut in the fall.

Anyway, Andy had built Brian some folding panels a while ago with which to make temporary pens. They functioned so well that Brian wanted more, plus a couple of creep gates and creep feeders.  He picked up eight of the bifold panels......

Three of the creep gates (the horizontal bar keeps ewes from trying to wiggle through and can be raised as the lambs grow.  Lambs can slide through a narrow opening but it's harder to crawl through a low space)....

And three grain feeders.  The bar across the top is plenty high enough to allow them to eat but keeps lambs from easily standing in the feeder and fouling the feed.

It ended up being quite a load for the little trailer Brian brought but the guys got it strapped down for safe transport.

A great many lambs ought to benefit from safe and sturdy surroundings.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Alexandria And Drambui

Two grand old ladies left the flock yesterday.  Both had gotten very old very fast in the last few months and were becoming so crippled with arthritis that life was more of a chore than a pleasure.  They both passed gently on to greener pastures with the help of our good vet.  We'll miss their faces and friendly manners.