Monday, 11 June 2007

Testing out the Sheep Crush

Saturday was spent just catching up on the usual jobs that need doing around the smallholding. Made sure we had all the medicines etc to deal with the sheep on Sunday. Tim had mended the grass cutter so it meant we were able to trim the grass in the wooded area. Denise raked all the loose grass up and the wooded area certainly looks a lot better, hopefully over time the grass will become finer. I doubt if it will become a bowling green, but it might improve to become to some sort of football pitch for the nephews.
On Sunday, Colin and Gerald came to help with the sheep, as Tim's back is still very fragile. Tim had created a run to funnel the sheep into the crush. So with medications and foot trimmers at the ready we started.
The crush was set up for the Shetlands and after a few teething problems we got into a routine. The idea was that Colin/Gerald would move the sheep into the crush, Tim could manage the crush door and Denise would catch and hold them in the crush then do the injections and trim the sheep's feet. But with the Corridales, the crush was set too close and so the brake could not be applied, so Tim held them in place with the foot pivot whilst Denise continued doing the injections and foot trimming. So this was the routine for the rest of the sheep and it worked well. Colin devised a gate so that the sheep didn't come back down the race, which helped and in future we will ensure that sheep of the same size go through at the same time followed by the larger sheep so that we can make the crush larger or smaller dependent on which sheep are going through. But you have to learn as you go along.
By the time we got to the end of the sheep, none of us felt we had been wrestling with the sheep and in truth the sheep were a lot less stressed, it was so easy to do everything, especially the feet and dagging out Missy, again!!!!! A good buy
Now all we have to do is shear them. That's next week's job!!!!!!!


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