Thursday, May 12, 2016

Day III: Adventures in Ear Tagging

So! Today I got a sheep named after me.
Anastasia #5539, arch nemesis 

   Today was another slow day, so we moved sheep and tagged yearlings and lambs. Today was also the first day the older lambs and moms went out on pasture and I bet they are super happy to be outside!

    But back to the story, we had to make room in the Lobby by moving sheep into the lambing jugs because things were getting crowded. So we kicked older lambs out of the jugs to make room for those sheep from the Lobby. There was this one yearling, she was beautiful, black with wisps of grey on her back, she was crazy. We had to literally haul her from the Lobby to the jugs because she was wigging out so much. At one point, before we started dragging her, I had her lamb and she was following but she saw something she didn't like and just ran the opposite direction and jumped into the nearest pen... crazy sheep... so that is when we took her by the horns and dragged her to the lambing jug and locked her in. Now that should have been my first red flag.
A nice view of the Lobby with some moms and a curious pony
     After moving every-sheep into the lambing jugs, I was put in charge of giving Vitamin E shots to all the lambs that would be going outside, while Siggi trimmed the moms' hooves and also cut the lambs ears with his mark. Then we turned them all out to pasture, those lucky ducks (or sheep). That took a few hours and when we finished we moved onto ear tagging. Maria was in charge of tagging the lambs because there is a process of writing everything down, so I was to ear tag the yearlings in the lambing jugs with their adult number.
     Enter Black Beauty (sheep edition) she was the first in the line-up and I went in with the naive confidence of having only tagged lambs before. I was in for a beating. She was easy to flip onto her rump and barely moved as I held her between my legs but as soon as I clamped down with the ear tag she turned into psycho sheep again. I could get good enough grip on the clamps to actually pierce her ear, but it was enough to cut into the skin and tear her ear in half :( oops my bad. I felt really bad and Maria decided that because of my blunder, she will be now named Anastasia. Eventually Siggi came around to show me how to do it on adult sheep, but he had trouble clamping it down all the way too, it wasn't just my weak fingers. Eventually she got her adult number and we didn't waste a tag on her, she got her proper number, she was ok and everyone was happy... except my bruised arm.
Torn ear on the left... crazy look in her eyes dead center... adult number finally in her ear on the right
   I then went on to tag other yearlings that weren't crazy and I was rather successful with the task.  
   It seems despite my otherwise calm day I had a lot to write about... Hopefully my arm isn't to battered in the morning.
And on that note Good Night!!!


  1. Oh, the adventures you'll have!! I'll keep you telling the tales all summer!

  2. P.S. Dr. Weber is a little miffed that he is not the only one to have a sheep in Iceland named after him! Nonni