Sunday, October 10, 2010

Snot-nosed sheep

The sheep are currently disgusting.  Their noses are dripping, I mean strings of snot.  It is not discolored and they are peppy and have great appetites, so after looking at books and internet sites, I decided it might be nasal bots  (little flies that lay their eggs in your nostrils and whose larvae climb up your nose - ewwh).

Having been forewarned by the previous owner - who showed me scars for emphasis - that you need adrenaline to get the worming job done, and after having been charged at by the ram yesterday, I was fairly apprehensive.

As a matter of fact, the ram was super easy.  While I was hand feeding him tiny alfalfa pellets, I quietly slipped a rope around his neck, pulled him against the fence, and squirted in the wormer.  It was a breeze, and I did it from outside the pen, over the fence.

The ewes, however, were less fun.  First of all, they are more wary of coming to eat out of your hand, and slipping the rope around their necks wasn't happening.  I called my son out, thinking he could hold the ram while I caught the ewes...but the ram (I really need a name for him) was more upset about me worming the ewes than my worming him.  Finally, my husband, who is not the animal person in the family, brought out a big piece of plywood, and we trapped all four sheep in a corner.  It was very easy to go in the corner with them and squirt the wormer drench to the back of their tongues.

They give up so easily.  It is very different than the goats or horses I am more used to.  I worry about stressing them and watching them keel over from heart attacks or something of that nature.  I am wary about them and worried about them - I can read a dog's body language, or a horse's, but the sheep are totally foreign.  It is a little disconcerting.

I sure hope the snot noses go away quickly.  I hope that when I leave to go to work tomorrow, that they will be okay.  Most of all, I hope the snot dries up as the little parasites in their nose die.

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