When you keep sheep they're always at the back of your mind. Its a feeling I'd liken to when I was at school and you always had homework due, there always seems like something to do!
This time of year is no exception. Even after a good lambing there are still no end of things to think about.
With the grass growing really fast and lush I normally put magnesium buckets in the field on an ad-lib basis so they don't get the staggers. The idea being that they only eat them if they need the minerals in there, unfortunately they do tend to just eat them anyway as they make them so sweet, but its worth it for healthy ewes.
The other thing I keep a mindful eye out for is fly strike.
I hate it and I hate the thought of it on the sheep.
I almost become paranoid! When I do my morning or evening checks every time a sheep twitches or moves funny my eyes lock on it, then I watch. They can also show the signs just by acting funny or being a bit out of sorts.
Last night was a perfect example of this. I'd been out to check just before it got dark and as I stood to watch the flock munch away on their grass I spotted one ewe that was twitching.
Bugger I thought.
It was too late to get them in then as the light was failing, but I decided to get up early and deal with it in the morning, before my wife went to work and I was in charge of the kids. I worried then about that sheep and got up at 5.30 to sort the pen out, make a funnel and round the sheep up.
They weren't playing ball and wouldn't round up easy, in the end about three got away but I had the one I wanted so closed the pen up. I caught her easily and started to trim the likely places that they get affected, namely around the bum and the middle of their back.
Using my new shears I quickly had those areas bare.
Not even a trace of a fly or maggot. It was good news but annoying that I had to get up so early! I decided that as I had taken huge chunks of wool off her I might as well take the rest off.
Man did I make a mess. When I finished she wouldn't even look at me!
The fleece went straight in the compost! I'm too ashamed for anyone to see how many pieces it's in!
Anyone else definitely not a shearer?
Disclaimer - I will get the shears to do her again when they come at the end of the month!