Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sorting Sheep

Yesterday we sorted sheep. The "big, white sheep". The Shetlands run on their own schedule! It was the day that we pulled all of the ram lambs away from their moms and put them in their own pasture. Some of them were a bit old, but I only like to do this once in the heat of summer and the youngest are only about 3 months old. I really don't like to wean them much before then. We have some lambs who will still nurse, if their moms let them, and they are almost as big as mom!

Larry and Nicholas moving some of the sheep toward the chutes:

Larry muscles the sheep into the scale, if they don't go willingly, and this time, held onto them while I administered wormer (I pulled some muscles in my back a few days ago and have a hard time bending over, hanging on to a struggling sheep, while forcing medicine down their throats. No, no - it's not as awful as it seems. It's a small amount of liquid wormer - but they, like small children, do not always cooperate fully, so there is a bit of wrestling that goes on. But if we don't worm them, they die. And we only worm the animals that need it.) Nicholas helps with getting them into the chutes, lets them out into their appropriate group after weighing and worming and helps wherever else he is needed. I open and close the scale doors, record weights, determine who to worm and administer the meds.

More moving of sheep:

We were probably at it for about 4 hours, with one break in the middle - it gets very hot and buggy - and in the end, we only actually relocated about 30 sheep, but we had to sort through all of them (almost 100). And now the lambs have been wormed once more (and any of the skinnier ewes). Hopefully, we won't have to do much with them now until we take the lambs to market and put the breeding groups together this fall.
In fiber related news, I have once again signed up for the Mystery Stole. I signed up last year, but did not knit it. I was a bit hesitant, being new to knitting and never having knit any lace. But I followed everyone's posts and delighted in looking at everyone else's stole pictures. This year, I have several yarns to choose from and have purchased some beads. I am still swatching, so have not decided on the yarn or beads yet, but hope to actually knit it this year. I have done a small amount of lace knitting, although not with lace weight yarn - and I have never done beads before, so that should be interesting. It will probably take me years to finish it, so don't hold your breath, but I would like to attempt this this time around. Wish me luck!
Off to swatch some more and catch some of the Olympics - I am leaving politics out of it and cheering the American athletes on to victory!

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