Desperately need help catching limping sheep

Baker27

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I have a small flock of 5 hair sheep made up of 2 ewes and their yearlings. Because of one ewe (who is particularly skittish) I have only successfully penned them once since we brought them home 1.5 years ago. We've tried plying them with treats; feeding them inside their pen; sitting out among them and letting them come to us; herding them into a corner... The pen has a door but as soon as it moves even slightly, they bolt. A couple of the yearlings will walk right up to us or even follow us into their pen when we feed, but as soon as the skittish ewe decides she's done, they all follow. This ewe will also stay at least a good 15 ft behind the others, ready to bolt at any time. I'm desperate now because their hooves are bad and three of the sheep are seriously limping. But I can't catch them. I'm terrified of what could happen. Any advice you have is welcome.
 

Sheepshape

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Sorry to hear about your skittish sheep. Can you attach a long rope to the pen gate and pen them in that way?

Rugby tackling sheep is very difficult, and I find they are heavier than me so drag me along the ground, so not to be recommended.

Enlist help from 'volunteers' to get them into an enclosed area. Once you have them close together then turn them onto their sides for inspection....the more folk that you have the easier this will be.

British Vet guidelines....don't cut the hooves unless there are ragged pieces hanging off which could entrap debris.Inject with a long-acting tetracycline if there is footnote or significant infection.
 

Baymule

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How big is their pasture? I’m thinking electric netting fence from Premier 1. Turn it up HOT. Each day move it in closer to the pen. Each day put out Feed in the pen. Keep moving netting in closer until they are in pen. You may have to make pen bigger to help the skittish ewe not freak out. Once you get them in the pen, catch skittish ewe first, load her in a trailer and take her to auction. She is screwing up the whole flock and not helping you one bit. Keep the rest in the pen for 3-4 weeks until they calm down. Then, using the netting, keep it small, call them to the pen for Feed every day, gradually moving the netting outwards. That crazy one needs to go.
 

secuono

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Capture the 3 yearlings and keep them locked up in an adjoining area. Keep luring in the adults, catch the less skittish one & move in with yearlings. Eventually, you'll catch the other.
Can also make a bigger catch pen.
Or lasso the skittish one, throw a rope or use a very long horse lunge whip with a knot on the end and excess line looped through for a noose to toss at sheep.
 

Baker27

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Sorry to hear about your skittish sheep. Can you attach a long rope to the pen gate and pen them in that way?

Rugby tackling sheep is very difficult, and I find they are heavier than me so drag me along the ground, so not to be recommended.

Enlist help from 'volunteers' to get them into an enclosed area. Once you have them close together then turn them onto their sides for inspection....the more folk that you have the easier this will be.

British Vet guidelines....don't cut the hooves unless there are ragged pieces hanging off which could entrap debris.Inject with a long-acting tetracycline if there is footnote or significant infection.
I have caught them once in their own using the long rope method and it seems they must remember because it hasn't worked since. May need to just keep trying to slowly group them with my family's help. Thank you for the recommendation!
 

Baker27

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How big is their pasture? I’m thinking electric netting fence from Premier 1. Turn it up HOT. Each day move it in closer to the pen. Each day put out Feed in the pen. Keep moving netting in closer until they are in pen. You may have to make pen bigger to help the skittish ewe not freak out. Once you get them in the pen, catch skittish ewe first, load her in a trailer and take her to auction. She is screwing up the whole flock and not helping you one bit. Keep the rest in the pen for 3-4 weeks until they calm down. Then, using the netting, keep it small, call them to the pen for Feed every day, gradually moving the netting outwards. That crazy one needs to go.
Pasture is a little less than an acre so that probably plays into the problem based on your suggestion. I hadn't considered letting the skittish ewe go, but you have a very valid point. The rest of the flock is quite calm and likes to come get treats and the occasional scratch on the noggin. Thank you for your suggestion! I'll look into the netting
 

Baker27

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Capture the 3 yearlings and keep them locked up in an adjoining area. Keep luring in the adults, catch the less skittish one & move in with yearlings. Eventually, you'll catch the other.
Can also make a bigger catch pen.
Or lasso the skittish one, throw a rope or use a very long horse lunge whip with a knot on the end and excess line looped through for a noose to toss at sheep.
A bigger catch pen might help a lot. As long as I stay still in the current pen, 4 of the 5 a cool with me being there. Perhaps I just cant stay out of their flight zone with the current pen size? Thank you!
 

secuono

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A bigger catch pen might help a lot. As long as I stay still in the current pen, 4 of the 5 a cool with me being there. Perhaps I just cant stay out of their flight zone with the current pen size? Thank you!
Have you ever lunged a horse?
They have the same push zones.
 

Sheepshape

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Have you managed to catch them up yet?

Maybe try burying a long road under hay or even soil and awaiting the opportunity?

What breed of sheep are they? Breeds vary such a lot in their basic natures.

Not trying to be 'wise after the event', but from here on in try to tame them. Old sheep can be taught new tricks.

However, very best of luck for now.
 
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