First Shots

This beautiful, pastoral scene… ewes and lambs peacefully grazing… is really quite different from the activity on the farm just a few hours earlier.  Let’s rewind…
We rounded up all the ewes and lambs bright and very early yesterday morning (that was a zoo, there should have been a movie made) and brought them back to the barn for a health check-up.  We herded them through a moving lane we put up on the outside of the perimeter fencing the night before.  It took three of us (Thanks, Mom!), two on the inside and one on the outside.  Once, again, the shepherds’ crooks were invaluable.  We did FAMACHA checks on the ewes; most were twos, but we had a few we needed to worm.  The lambs received their first CD-T shots, FAMACHA checks and tail checks. 
We have had a problem with fly-strike this year at the tail docking area… the very thing we are trying to prevent by docking their tails.  We’ve never had this problem before.  (It’s probably a result of the unusually mild winter; the flies are bad already this year.  Has anyone ever tried Fly Parasites?)
Everyone behaved very well in the barn and were very relaxed and quiet.  That was wonderful because it made everything go pretty smoothly.  After the shepherdess/s did some re-hydrating, we all headed back out the barn door, but to a new pasture.  The ewes and lambs are now in the knoll pasture.  It was very noisy for several hours as it took quite awhile for the mamas and little ones to find each other again.  But everything has quieted down and they seem quite happy, once again.
(If you’re new to our blog, you may be wondering about the farming detail in some of our posts.  We began our blog as a farm journal, somewhere we can go to quickly find… when did we do that? what did we do?  We keep very detailed paper records also, but we can access this from basically anywhere… even in the field on our phones 🙂

5 thoughts on “First Shots

  1. Wish I could have been there to help. I have tried the fly parasites and I thought it was a complete waste of money. I stuck with it all summer long and never saw a reduction at all. This was a couple of years ago. I read some where that you need all your neighbors to do it also to see any results. My neighbors would laugh me right out of the holler if I were to suggest such a thing. So it was a waste for me. I hope Boaz is growing. We sheared the girls and I think I have them too fat so I cut back on their grain a bit. You should see what a lover Naomi has turned out to be. She loves to be scratched and have her nose kissed. Tim caught me in the barn with her last night and he asked "Maybe she doesn't like her nose kissed.." and I said, "If she didn't she wouldn't come up and stand there waiting for it, so there.." To which, he just walked away. Smart man. 🙂

  2. I tried the fly parasites years ago, I agree, waste of money. Two things that have worked for me are fly jars and Mr. Sticky tape.

    Sticky tape is only about 20 or 25 feet long, I did not roll back onto the same size roller, so I bought just the refills and mounted them on a piece of pvc pipe, then taped the other end on a piece of pvc to wind it on when it was full to discard. You can put two on pvc and unwind in oppisite direction to get 50 feet coverage.

    I try to find fly jars that can be emptied and reused.

    Good luck, I have noticed a lot more flys this year already, didn't have a large issue last year.

  3. Even though I don't have a farm, I always enjoy reading about your farm life and appreciate the detail – it satisfies my natural curiosity!

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