Yesterday the weather forecast said there would be rain. Towards the end of doing my morning feeding and turning the sheep out to pasture, there was some tiny raindrops. I changed my plan of oiling thing wooden steps for the back door. I decided to deworm and trim feet on the last group of ewes. The working chutes are under a roof, so I would stay dry while working.
Since I was deworming, I needed to weigh the sheep first to determine how much dewormer to give that sheep. The floor for the sheep scale was worn out with places the sheep’s feet could get through. It was not raining very much yet, I will replace the board. I had to cut a the board to fit on the table saw. When done cutting, put the board in place. Perfect fit. I really love it when I use the table saw to cut a board and it fits perfect. I am not fond of the table saw, the saw blade is exposed making me nervous. Plus, the board was bigger than what I usually cut alone. Today, I cut the board, perfect fit, feel good about a job well done.
When I deworm and trim the feet of the sheep, I first put them in a small pen that has an opening for the sheep scale. The sheep scale has two gates, one for the sheep to get on the scale and one for the sheep to leave the scale. When the sheep leave the scale they are in a narrow alley, single file, that goes to the working chute. I can get four adult sheep in the alley at one time. The working chute, like the scale has a gate to enter and a gate to exit.
I get a sheep in the scale and weigh it, writing the sheep’s ID number and weight down on paper. Open the exit gate for sheep to stand in the alley. I do this until the alley is full. Then I deworm each sheep using a liquid dewormer and drench ( a large syringe type instrument with an end that goes in the sheep’s mouth ). After those four are dewormed, I let one sheep in the working chute, and tip the sheep on its side. The working chute I have as a drop down floor, allowing me to have full access to the feet of the sheep. Trim the hoof walls of the sheep, replace the floor, tip back upright, open the exit gate. The sheep is done be dewormed and pedicure.
Doing one or two sheep is not so hard. Doing twenty takes longer. My hands get tired and sore from trimming the sheep’s feet since I have hand held hoof trims. Tipping the working chute up with a 150 pound sheep takes a little muscle. Then tipping the chute back down after I am done. Definitely a workout for the day.
At the end of the day, my hands are sore, my shoulders and legs are sore from working the chute. I am pleased, relieved and happy that the last group of sheep are done for several months.
I feel good when I finish a task, regardless of how sore and stiff I may be from using muscles I do not use on a daily basis.