Today was a busy day of rotating fields and foot-bathing the lambs, rams and hoggets. I knew it was going to be a hot sunny day so started early as the yard is a bit of a sun trap and can get quite hot. So first things first was to fill the foot-bath with water and zinc sulphate.

Pepper My Hose Guarding Assistant

Pepper My Hose Guarding Assistant

I use 10% Zinc Sulphate and find this most effective as a preventative to keep scald at bay. Scald is a common cause of lameness in sheep. Scald is when the skin between their cloven hoof digits gets a cut or stays very moist for long periods of time. It then becomes red and swollen and covered by a thin layer of mucousy white material. It is very similar to human athletes foot and the Zinc Sulphate keeps the feet healthier and stronger. Scald can appear in the flock very quickly, all the flock can be sound in the morning but you might find lame ones by evening.

Zinc Sulphate

Zinc Sulphate

I put the powdered Zinc Sulphate into the water while the hose is filling the bath this way is dissolves and mixes quicker.

Water Dissolving Zinc Sulphate

Water Dissolving Zinc Sulphate

The first to get their foot-bath will be the rams as they can be very ballshee. So out I go to the field with the magic bucket and call the boys in.

The Boys Galloping up to Me

The Boys Galloping up to Me

Once I get all four boys onto the lane we walk up to the yard.

Following the Magic Bucket

Following the Magic Bucket

The Welchman Coming in for His Pedicure

The Welchman Coming in for His Pedicure

Big fat Bosco can make everyone wait while he stands and thinks if he really wants to keep following the sheep nut shaking bucket.

Whiskey Standing as We Wait for Bosco

Whiskey Standing as We Wait for Bosco

Once into the yard I get the boys into the sheep race to stand and soak their hoofs for about 5 minutes.

The Boys Patiently Standing in Their Foot Bath

The Boys Patiently Standing in Their Foot Bath

When they have had their 5 minutes of soaking I stand them in the dry yard for about half an hour. Today I put them into a dry stable so that I can get the next lot in which is the ewe lambs and hoggets. Walking up the lane way I call to the hoggets and ewe lambs who come galloping past me down the lane and into the paddock.

They Gallop Down the Lane

They Gallop Down the Lane

When I call them there is such a feeling of life in the young ewes as they cavort across the field galloping, jumping and skipping into the air.

Cavorting Across the Paddock

Cavorting Across the Paddock

Wagtail makes a diversion towards me and nearly sets me flying as she crashes into me just after I have taken the photo below.

Wagtail Makes a Beeline for Me

Wagtail Makes a Beeline for Me

Once into the yard the young ewes all trot into the sheep pen.

Trotting into the Pen Before the Sheep Race

Trotting into the Pen

Penned & Ready for Foot-Bath

Penned & Ready for Foot-Bath

The next question is who will be the first to get into the foot-bath.

Who is Going First

Who is Going First

Finally with my help a crowd of ewe lambs fill the sheep race and stand for the first 5 minutes.

Ewe Lambs Foot-Bathing

Ewe Lambs Foot-Bathing

When their 5 minutes are up I open the gates and they come out over a bit of spongy stuff this sort of drys their feet before they stand on dry ground. If I didn’t have this they would create a muddy area exiting the foot-bath which all the sheep would have to walk through which would defeat the whole foot-bathing process.

Walking Across the Drainage Sponge

Walking Across the Drainage Sponge

One of the hoggets I bring in is very lame and hobbling about on 3 legs. I’m very worried it might be foot rot which I have not had in my flock for over 18 months. I flip her over only to find much to my relief and hers that she had a bit of a twig jammed at her heel between the digits of her hoof.

Holding up Front Left Hoof

Holding up Hoof on Left

The Last Ewe Out

The Last Ewe Out

Once the last ewe lamb or hogget is out of the foot-bathing race they must stand around in the dry yard to help the Zinc Sulphate do its job.

All Sheep but Aggee in the Shade

All Sheep but Aggee in the Shade

It is getting very hot in the yard so all the sheep relax in what shade they can get as the morning sun rises.

Aggee Posing With Her Shadow

Aggee Posing With Her Shadow

After I get a glass of water and a half hour passes it’s time for these young ladies to go to their new fresh field.

Waiting to Leave the Yard

Waiting to Leave the Yard

I open the gate and shake the magic bucket and the flock pours out of the yard.

Aggee & Little Wren Lead the Exit the Yard Charge

Aggee & Little Wren Leading the Exiting Yard Charge

Flocking Past the Stables

Flocking Past the Stables

Once out of the yard the older hoggets know where they are headed and charge past me around the corner heading for their next fresh field.

Charging Past Me Towards the Fresh Field

Charging Past Me Towards the Fresh Field

Out into the field they go; we do have to chase up a few ewe lambs as they don’t know the field rotation system quite yet.

Fresh Grass Heads Down

Fresh Grass Heads Down

They have a beautiful amount of red and white clover to sweeten their taste buds.

Red & White Clover

Red & White Clover

Finally the ram lambs who have to come down through the garden and under the laundry line full of clean washing.

Ram Lambs Coming Through Clean Sheets

Ram Lambs Coming Through Clean Sheets

Some of them gallop around the hanging laundry.

Ram Lambs Dancing Past the Laundry

Ram Lambs Dancing Past the Laundry

One more time today I pen up the lambs and then push them into the foot-bath.

First Ram Lamb into Foot-Bath is Apollo II

First Ram Lamb into Foot-Bath is Apollo II

You can see that their hooves are well covered in the water mix.

Hooves Well Covered in Water Solution

Hooves Well Covered in Water Solution

Second Lot is Quite a Squeeze

Second Lot is Quite a Squeeze

Someone's Cheating a Hoof is Out of the Water

Someone’s Cheating a Hoof is Out of the Water

Finally down to the last three lambs.

The Last Three

The Last Three

Now for the last ram lamb to exit the foot-bath.

The Last Lamb to Come Out of Foot-Bath

The Last Lamb to Come Out of Foot-Bath

Now as the rams lambs really like to wander about I have to ask my Father to help walk behind to encourage them along the correct path to the next field. I have not been feeding the lambs any lamb nuts for 6 weeks or more so the magic bucket is of very little use.

Trotting Out the Yard Gate

Trotting Out the Yard Gate

This should be easy as I am ahead of them and my Father behind them.

Down the Lane into the Field

Down the Lane into the Field

But no there is always one who thinks they know where the best grass is and made a runner past me down the lane towards the road.

There is Always ONE!!!

There is Always ONE!!!

 

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