Sunday, January 22

Sunday Dose of Cute: Another Sheep Working Sunday

Sheep working Sunday -
All lined up and ready to be drenched.

After almost a year, we're still being really good about keeping to our new Sunday sheep working schedule, which is a source of both pride and constant amazement to us both, considering how discombobulated our days on the farm always seem to be, and how much trouble we have keeping to any kind of agenda.

More below. . .

This time of year the job usually goes pretty quickly, especially since it's not 140 degrees outside. Of course it also means we get down to the barn much later than our 6:30am, beat some of the heat summer start time, so Sundays seem really short, especially since it gets dark so early.

Usually when we work the sheep we pack them fairly tightly into part of the barn, then catch each one up with a crook and use a backpack drench gun (pictured above) to give them a dose in their mouths of either liquid wormer or the 50/50 mix of organic raw apple cider vinegar and garlic juice we use as a natural wormer and overall health tonic. (We also each drink 1 Tablespoon of vinegar each day in water for our overall health.)

Most of the time my hunky farmguy Joe does the catching (and the marking of each sheep with a crayon after they've been worked) and I do the drenching, but depending on what else is going on and how the sheep are acting, sometimes I catch them up and drench them myself—and sometimes it actually goes faster that way. We also trim hooves and administer any minor first aid as needed.

Because our splinter flock of 20 pregnant ewes (plus sweet old Silly, who wasn't bred this year but needed some extra TLC—read: treats) has been doing great (knock on wool) in the hoof department lately, a few weeks ago we tried running them through the handling equipment we bought a while back to drench them.

The sheep are already used to going through it (we put special shallow tubs filled with a foot bath solution in there in spring), so once five or six ewes are in, we shut both ends, work them, then let them out and fill it up with a new bunch. Once we all got the hang of things, it started going a lot faster than drenching in the barn.

Of course there's a lot less snuggling involved, which means the other 18 non-pregnant sheep, who don't get as many treats as the pregos and are still getting worked in the barn, have been forced to endure some extra hugs.

More about working the sheep:

©, where lambing season 2012 is going to start around the first of March, which means it's already time to get the sheep sheared—and I just realized I never did share the promised photos of last year's sheep shearing. What did I say about discombobulated and sticking to schedules?


  1. I am glad that you linked to your previous shearing posts, because I was recently wondering if you used the wool for anything.

    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I can see where running them through the chute would certainly be more efficient but not as snuggly! Sheep shearing sounds like a BIG job!

  3. wow, sheep are a lot of work!

  4. I am intrigued by the 50/50 apple cider and garlic juice. I usually just eat garlic raw, as well as taking apple cider vinegar in a little water.

  5. In regard to my previous comment, I meant that I know that apple cider vinegar and garlic are good for humans, I didn't know it was beneficial for animals too.


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