I needed to vaccinate the flock this week and I invited Farm Club members to come and help.
The first task was to clean the barn which has been bedded with straw since Shearing Day. Susan took this photo of me standing on last year’s compost pile with the new one in the foreground. It looks like I am surveying the flock but I was actually watching two ewe lambs who had figured out how to go through the electric fence. Upon further inspection it looks (from tufts of wool on the wire) as though they have been doing this for awhile. When I tested it I found that the fence had no power and it turned out that one wire was missing from the charger. I guess I should have been paying better attention.
After barn cleaning we got to work with the sheep. We were administering Covexin 8 (vaccine) and MUSE (selenium supplement) two weeks prior to the start of lambing. A couple of people filled syringes.
Others worked in teams to catch sheep, mark faces…
…and give injections. Not bad for a couple of people who are new to handling sheep!!!
When we caught the lambs (almost yearlings—born last March) we put them aside so that we could look at all of them later. A few were exposed to the ram in the fall, and we confirmed one pregnancy but maybe no more. We put coats on five of them and those will be coated for the rest of the year to protect the fleeces from vegetable matter.
One of the ewes has had diarrhea so I put separated her. Doris noticed that she was lame as well. I soaked and then scrubbed her foot.
We found an oozy crack between her hooves. This photo is of the bottom of the foot with the hooves spread apart. I applied ointment and wrapped her foot. She will stay in for a couple of days to keep her out of the mud and while I try to treat the diarrhea. (Thanks for these photos, Doris.)
There were a couple of fleeces to skirt for people who have requested them. This is the lilac ewe, Foxy.
How great is it to get your chores done in the company of friends?