Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I CAN do it, yes I can...

With help from some new panels that I bought from Premier, I was able to vaccinate and worm the girl sheep all by myself! I did it all by myself last time, but it was quite a fiasco - what with me trying to sneak up on them and stab them with the needle and/or jab the wormer in their mouths (I didn't have panels at the time). This time I took two panels and hooked them together on a corner inside the girls' pen. Then I took some grain and enticed them into the corner...swinging the panels shut after they entered. I was hoping to only get one sheep at a time, but they are SUCH pigs when it comes to grain that they all mobbed me in the corner - pushing and shoving. With much pushing and shoving of my own, I was able to get two of the girls cornered at a time. It didn't leave much room to move inside the mini-pen, but that probably is good because they couldn't get away from the needle/drench gun. My experience with sheep is pretty limited, so most of my information on vaccinating, worming, etc. comes from books or the internet (or asking other sheep owners). The CDT shot I was giving needed to be given subcutaneously (underneath the skin). I came across an excellent website instructing how to give vaccinations in sheep. They even have photos demonstrating how a person needs pull up a "tent" of skin on the sheep's neck and place the needle parallel to the muscle (not IN the muscle). Well, the person who did the website obviously doesn't have a squatty, chubby little Babydoll to vaccinate! Trying to pull up a "tent" of skin on their necks is virtually impossible. On my first two attempts, I injected the contents of the syringe - only to feel wetness on my hand. Totally missed the mark and only hit wool. However, I did manage to figure it out and get all of the girls done....and with very minimal stress, which was very important since they are pregnant. Hopefully my efforts will pay off with healthy little lambs!!

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