Today, the girls and I trimmed the feet of most of our sheep. This is a really gross, smelly, sweaty job. The sheep are strong and fat and hot. My oldest daughter, E does the trimming. She’s gotten really good and fast at it. And I appreciate that she’s fast. My job is to catch and hold the sheep while she trims their feet. Some of them hate this ordeal and thrash around. Foot trimming is the biggest reason that I never want our flock to grow to more than 15 ewes and a ram with their babies. It’s just a nasty thing to have to do every few months. Yuck.
We’re mostly done with that at least for awhile. I think next week we have four more ewes to trim and Apollo, our ram. My husband has to help with Apollo. Not because he’s mean, but because he’s so huge and strong.
To trim the sheep feet, we first catch them. You have to be fast, because the sheep don’t want to be caught. They’re easiest to grab if they’re in a smallish pen. I don’t think we’d ever catch them out in the field. I grab them around the neck and shoulders and lift them so their front feet are off the ground. I end up kind of bear hugging their bodies and my oldest daughter pulls their back feet out from under them. This sets them back so they’re kind of sitting on their rumps like a person with four feet extended. I usually sit back behind them, hugging them while my daughter trims them.
We’re all glad, even the sheep, when this task is complete for a few weeks.