Friday, August 10, 2012

Our current flock, 36 sheep.
We did the deed yesterday.  Our new ram had a horn that was trying to grow into his skull.  It needed to be removed.  This would not have been a big deal, but his horns had been cut by his previous owner.  This alters the angle at which the new horn grows.  The left horn is staying out away from his head, but the right was growing right into his head just behind his eye.  My father suggested using the sawzall to cut it off, but it was laying right next to his skull the entire way and I did not want to cut his skin on top of the horn.  So we chased the sheep up into the square pen and then tagged and banded all the babies.

Right horn removed, dressing still in place.

A very unhappy ram after horn removal.
There were eight babies to take get all cataloged.  We then did a head count.  Two four month old lambs were missing.  We figure the coyotes got them when they stayed out on the back hillside a couple of months ago. They were old enough to wander away from the herd and get picked off.  There is no longer a ".22 rule" at our house.  Any predator within sight now gets some lead thrown it its direction.  For tax purposes that is a $375 loss, in reality it is probably more since one of the babies was a little girl.  We would have kept her to breed, and she had the potential to have at least 15 babies.

Mr. President's last day working was yesterday.  He helped catch the babies and then he had the honor of holding the ram's head while I hack sawed off the right horn.  Annmarie held onto the body and Sarah held onto the muzzle.  It was nasty and messy, the ram hated it, it hurt.  He managed to jerk around and pop the blade off my saw once, spewing blood everywhere.  Mr. President had it on his face, arms and shirt.  Sarah had it all over her pants and shirt.  It took about 15 minutes of forever to get it sawed off.  I had to change the angle once and make a recut, and in the end I had to snap it off and cut the little bit holding it on.  Luckily for him, it had not penetrated his skull or made a pressure wound.  We bandaged him up with some water, animal wound cleanser, peri pad (Sarah brought me one with wings that I had to fold out of the way before I could use it.  Mr. President was clearly uncomfortable with the peri pad discussion) and some good old Coflex (vet wrap).

We then ran around town and got all the needed supplies to finish off the barn and managed to make three hexagonal sheep feeders.  We saw them online at a feed supply store for $215 each.  I have three more to make and we will be ready to go.  I have about a day of screwing to finish the floor.  Two more hanging doors to put up.  I have the hardware for one but no door and I have the door but not all the hardware for the other.  My new job starts next week so it will be hit or miss on doing farm work for a while.  I will squeeze in time whenever I can.  All in all I am ahead of schedule and the barn is useable if needed as is.