To keep this very simple, it is pouring rain right now, we’re utterly wiped out and we didn’t get everyone’s hooves trimmed. Still two ewes and one of the rams left to take care of. We will probably have to try tomorrow or even have to push it out to a random day next week.
But the way hoof trimming works if you don’t try to think like a fancy city person is that goats go in stanchions and sheep are sat up on their butts, either by a second person who isn’t the trimmer, or a sort of hammock/chair thing that does it if there’s no second person available.
We put sheep in the stanchion and oh how we paid for it. In the stanchion you have bucking, frightened sheep that you have to hold down in addition to the stanchion. Sit a sheep down, though, and you have a calmer animal that is UNABLE to freak out enough to cause trouble and you have an opportunity for the animal to know that you aren’t a predator or a jerk so they will be easier on successive maintenance days.
For some crazy mixed up reason we thought since the stanchion works awesome for goats it would just be dandy mcdandy for sheep. Even though I can’t recall anyone local using a stanchion for their sheep and none of the sheep books mention stanchions for basic maintenance like hoof trimming. Yeah, when your references don’t say to do a thing you think is more “logical” and provide an alternative that is easy and fast, they know of what they speak!
We were quite foolish to think changing it up would be easier or better.
Anyway, of the goats and sheep trimmed, the goats were easy, the sheep were hard until we sat the last one down and then it was easy (last one was little bramble-filled Shaft, his hooves were in nice shape and there wasn’t much bramble left to clear, but his fleece has a few burrs in the top layer, not near the skin, that will make spring skirting an adventure).
One sheep got cut (our gray with one udder because a shearer took out the other nipple), and she also has some kind of hoof issue on her front left hoof. It is neither red nor stinky, the twin signs of rot, but there’s a lot of random hoof badness that isn’t hoof rot, so we’ll have to include her in the roundup of the three sheep remaining and get a better look at it. It may just be a lot of impacted material from delaying a trim so long.
So we’re not done yet and we may be stuck waiting until next Saturday to finish the job, but we will definitely try to carve some time out ASAP and then we basically have to be very treat-happy for several weeks straight to get everyone used to us, since, you know, we (possibly) knocked up the ewes already and then proceeded to spaz them out. We really planned this one out with thought and care, you betcha.