Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Sheep rescue

After living on a farm for a few years, you feel like you've seen it all, but then you know that you will always have new challenges. But you can't imagine what they will be. And you assume that they will probably just be variations on a theme. Right?

Well, after last night's adventure, I'm actually kind of surprised that we haven't had this happen before. We do have a ridiculous number of thorny trees and bushes on our property, and I've picked out my share of thorns from wool after shearing. But I certainly never expected to have to rescue a sheep from a thorny bush!

Yesterday afternoon as Jane and I were about to head out to do evening chores, Jonathan came inside and told us that a ewe lamb was stuck in a bush. He said he tried to get her out, but it was impossible. We grabbed a pair of scissors and headed out to the sheep pasture. Jonathan sat down with the ewe in his lap while Jane started cutting the ewe's wool to get her free. It became obvious fairly quickly that this was not going to be an easy job. Notice in that top picture how there is wool all over the branches in every square inch of that photo? Well, that little ewe had apparently panicked herself to such a degree that her wool was severely twisted up with the thorny branches!

I headed back to the house to get another pair of scissors and a pair of pruning shears so that I could help Jane. Once I got back with the pruning shears, I was able to cut off the branches, so that at least we were not all being poked while we were trying to rescue her.

It looks like she has a bush growing out of her back, doesn't it!

We finally realized that it would have taken hours to get all of those branches cut out of her wool if we just continued using scissors -- and dusk was rapidly approaching. Jonathan and Jane agreed to carry the ewe back to the barn so that we could use sheep shears.

And that's what we did! Sheep shears are big, scary, and loud, and I was really nervous about accidentally cutting the little ewe, but I didn't, which made all of us very happy. Obviously I couldn't take a picture of the shearing because I was the one running the shears, but here is the big wad of wool and sticks that was ultimately cut off! Notice my little hand in the lower left corner of the above photo.

Then Jane continued picking out the last few little sticks that were left.

Unfortunately the thorns had damaged her skin and ripped out some wool by the roots. Ouch! We sprayed iodine on her injuries before putting her back in the pasture with the other sheep.

And we were all very surprised that she didn't actually look that bad after her very bad haircut!


IsobelleGoLightly said...

Whew! What a job! My lady said one of her sheep got some thorns twisted around in his fleece too but not like that! I'm glad you were able to free that cute little ewe and get that out of her!

Michelle said...

Jonathan doesn't look that bad, either! ;-) Not sure why we've never been treated to his fair countenance before....

Tiggeriffic said...

Good thing you found this little ewe. It was stuck good.
Good thing hair grows back.. I always think of that when I get a bad hair cut..
Good thinking and glad it all came out O.K.
ta ta for now from Iowa:)

Spinners End Farm said...

Um...I'm with Michelle regarding Jonathan!
That nest of twigs and wool looks like a work of art. Puir wee thing!


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