Sheep

Sheep

Sheep are not dumb. Twice a year I am faced with penning the sheep in order to shear them.

Prior to penning I call them, shake a bucket of pellets or corn and broadcast the feed on the

ground.  Eventually I leave a trail of the feed into the pens.  Then I walk away, never looking at

them.  Once they are in the pen, I slowly walk up to the gate and close it.  It is not that easy.

Remaining calm and making no sudden movements is the key to success.

Each mature sheep produces about 5 pounds of wool each time the animal is sheared.

In the past, wool sold for about $1 a pound.  The government no longer supports wool prices

and as a consequence, wool now doesn’t even pay for the shearing.  Sheep are born with tails.

For sanitary reasons, we put a thinck rubber band on the base of the tail cutting off the

circulation.  The tail drops off after a few weeks.   A young lamb whose tail has been banded

reacts strangely.  The lamb goes in circles, becomes dizzy and sometimes falls down.

Evidently balance is associated with the tail.  We use the same technique in castrating the

young males.  A thick rubber band around the balls cuts off circulation and the balls drop off.

We don’t cut them because the blood attracts predators.  When the castrated young males grow

to about 40 or 50 pounds, we kill them and enjoy lamb chops, ground lamb and lamb stew

meat.  Lamb is among my favorite meats.