Yesterday was a long day, but a satisfying one.
At 7 AM, my friendly lumberyard delivered a bottle of CDT vaccine during the school carpool. At morning chores, I brought my sheep in, trimmed all their hooves, and vaccinated the entire flock. (At one point I was wrestling a ewe with a loaded hypodermic clenched in my teeth.) Next I gathered my portable fencing and charger and drove the mile down the highway to Betty’s field, where I set up a temporary paddock. Then I hitched up the school’s stock trailer, drove to the farm, backed the trailer tight to the barn door, loaded the sheep, and trucked them to the grass.
For the next few hours I drove back and forth between the farm and the field, ferrying shelters and my lawn tractor. My two oldest shelters had rotted and needed new braces. I cut fresh 2x4s and made the repairs before carrying them down. The shelters barely fit in the stock trailer, and were right at the limit of my ability to lift and load without help. I sweated considerably. Taking them off was easier, however, and as I had trucked the lawn mower down in my first trip, towing them into the field was a snap.
Through the day I was happily aware that my skills in all areas (vaccinating, flock handling, backing a trailer, carpentry) had improved in the last few years. I decided to concentrate on that positive thought, rather than the undeniable fact that my muscles are weaker with age.
These photos were taken at dusk, after I’d washed out and put away the trailer, and returned to re-fill the water trough.
The sheep are so happy. And watching them, I was happy, too. They are newly wormed, vaccinated, clean-footed, and out on new grass. After this very discouraging winter and spring, I felt like Super-Shepherd.