Jack and I gathered the flock for their mid-summer night’s dream (not). Today was de-worming and hoof trimming Wednesday. The weather has been terribly wet this summer. In the month of July I wonder if we had ONE dry day. So far in August forget it. It is grating on everyone…sun peaks out for an hour and then torrential downpours. Below Bea gives her nod of approval to the next sheep in line. Bea chose first in line which I think is always wise. First in, first out.
For the flock this means extra vigilance regarding hoof care. When the fields are wet their hooves don’t get a chance to dry out. If the hooves aren’t trimmed regularly the dirt and moisture build up in the untrimmed hoof area causing a multitude of sins. We typically trim 3 times a year; May, August and November. Over the winter our barn and loafing lot offer lots of hard standing surfaces for the sheep. They naturally paw the ground and thereby “trim” their own hooves quite nicely. During the summer months on grass is when the problems tend to occur. These pictures give you an idea of the process. Jack has become very proficient at this. The last picture shows a nicely trimmed hoof.
Tonight: 16 sheep times 4 hooves,64 trims. We started at 6:30PM and finished up at 8PM. We have to confine them in order to be efficient. We usually do the trimming in the big barn but because Della and Lucy are still set up in that barn we trimmed in the winter barn. Oh my God, it was steamy, sheepy and yup, shitty. No pictures of us….but we got them all cleaned up and sent them out to a fresh pasture and they were delighted!
So are we, knowing they are foot fancy and comfortable.