Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sheep studies

The 2014 Captive Wildlife Care and Education first years came out to Womerlippi Acres yesterday, along with instructors Tom Aversa, Cheryl Frederick, and Meg Anderson, to learn all about sheep wrangling and sheep care. Watching from the sidelines and taking these pictures were baby Rhubarb and Aimee.

It was a fairly hectic day, but a good time was had by all, except possibly the sheep, who, however, are now all set for the winter, having had their hooves and dung tags trimmed, their FAMACHA® checks done, and their spiffy new USDA scrapie prevention ID tags attached.

All this made for a fast-moving day of college-level instruction and praxis in animal care.

I've written elsewhere in the blog about how important a set of lessons this is for these young students. Go check out the older pages for those ideas, here and here and here.

Here are the photos Aimee took:

First up, here's a fat Englishman telling Americans how to wrangle a sheep.


Learning the safety hold and how to trim the hooves


 A slightly insecure lamb. Need to get that lamb-butt on the ground.

Meg shows them how to trim.

 Not the textbook safety hold, but this was a well-behaved lamb.

 That one would make a nice Corriedale show lamb.

It's hard work. A lot of bending and grasping.

Meg has it all under control.

This one got away, and was only recaught after she went through the swampy puddle next to the compost heap. One student said that she nearly lost her cookies, the poor lambie was so gross after that. But that was in some ways what the instructors wanted out of the day -- all romantic notions of the world of animal care evaporated in one swell foop.

A very tolerant lamb.

This is the kind of concentration we want to see.

The full-on sheep service team in action.

 Getting down to details.


A brief moment of pain and then it's all over.

And again. All fourteen sheep needed this procedure.

A full-court press on a ram lamb.

Tom gives a lesson.

The safety hold is extremely effective. One relatively small person can hold a very large sheep in this position long enough to get a lot of work done.

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