Vaccinations and Worming For The Sheep and Donkeys


Suzy has worms.  We found out today after taking a stool sample to our Large Animal Veterinarian.

When I was mucking out the barn I saw some sheep manure with blood in it.  I watched it for a few days and when I kept seeing more, I looked up what might be the cause online.

Then I followed the sheep around looking at their rear ends for traces of blood.  That’s how I knew the bloody stool came from Suzy.

It was most likely parasites, but Suzy is old and I wanted to make sure.  I didn’t want whatever was happening to go on any longer without getting some help.

It turns out it was time for the donkeys and sheep to get their vaccinations.  So we made an appointment for the Vet to come to the farm at 2pm to worm them all and give them their shots.

Usually, the Vet has an assistant who holds the sheep while he vaccinates them.  But he didn’t today so we got the sheep in the stall in the barn and I held them for him.

I wasn’t sure I could do it, that the sheep would let me.  But I knew it would work out when Issachar came up to me and when I held his head up (this position usually keeps sheep still) he didn’t move.  Asher was next and he was just as calm.

They are my biggest sheep and I knew if I could hold them, I could do the same with the rest of the sheep.

I didn’t even have to hold the older ewes’ heads up, I just held their heads gently with both hands and they stayed still.

Robin was the only one to give us some trouble.  He all but jumped over the gate as I was opening it to let them all out when we were done.

Fanny and Lulu had a different experience.  I wasn’t prepared for how they reacted.  I could barely hold them still.  I’d never seen them behave this way before. And once we were done they wouldn’t let me near them to take off the halters.

We have since made up.

I was able to take their halters off by waiting an hour or so, then offering them a carrot.

Fanny was more forgiving letting me take the halter off after I gave her a carrot.  And I had the feeling that if Lulu saw what I was doing, just taking the halter off and nothing else,  she’d let me take her halter off too.

It worked. Although both donkeys ran from me as soon as I had the halters in my hand.

This evening I brought them the leftover crust from our pizza.

When I called to them from the gate the sheep came running.   But it took a while for Lulu to appear with Fanny cautiously following.

They both ate the crust from my hand so I decided to take it a step further.

I grabbed the soft brush from the barn and held it out to Lulu.  She put her nose to the brush and let me groom her.  Then I brushed Fanny.

I went back to the house feeling we had made big steps towards getting back to normal again.

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