1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Peachicks - Featured Thread
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

SCORE! Sheep Handling Equipment

Discussion in 'Everything Else Sheep' started by Baymule, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. Jul 9, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Location:
    Shadow Hills, CA
    So excited that the gates and chute worked out so well! I am determined now to make one for myself. I have to look for the gates - maybe I will get some at the upcoming sheep equipment auction in September. I also want a walk on scale. Premier (I think) has a floor mat walk on type that you can put down in the chute between the gates. Great for weighing larger lambs and ewe lambs prior to breeding.

    Isn't this BYH site great! Where else could you tell hundreds of people that you enjoy donning rubber gloves and sticking a finger up a sheep's anus! :caf And they would be excited for you! :lol: Not to mention examining poop for parasites! How lucky are we to have friends like these?!!! :gig

    I need to have DS1 show me again how to attach the blades on the sheep head of his electric clippers (attaching the blades properly and adjusting the tension is the hardest part) and I will bring them back to Texas with me with several pairs of blades (the blades get dull quickly when shearing unwashed sheep) and the Kool Lube. DS1 and DS2 can gauge the tension by the sound, but I can't anymore so will have him do it for me before we leave. Then we can shear off those matts easily. I also have several sets of hand shears but am not exactly sure where I packed them when we stopped fitting sheep for show. If I can find them before we leave on July 20-21, I will bring them as well. Don't bother trying with a scissors it is too hard on the hands as you found. If you have a large set of electric horse clippers, you can probably buy a sheep head. When I get back there I will show you what we have and you can decide if you want to invest in any. If yoi plan to breed hair sheep and eventiully show Katahdins, you might want to buy a set. However, check

    It is even easier if you have a milking stanchion with a headlock to put the sheep up on. I use mine for trimming hooves too. If you don't want to use the large shearing blades you have to shampoo the sheep wool to remove the lanolin and dirt. Then you can shear to the skin while the sheep is still wet with a smaller size pair of blades. We used a smaller set of blades to slick shear the lambs for show, and for that you have to shampoo them with liquid dish detergent first because it will cut through the grease (lanolin). Also shearing a clean fleece does not dull the blades as fast. However, when shearing large ewes annually and keeping the fleece for sale or spinning you have to shear in the grease and pack the fleeces in paper wool sacks. I would bring my stanchion but DH would howl bloody murder! f you have a Premier milking or fitting stanchion or any type of metal stanchion with a square element to hold the square tubing head support, I will bring my sheep head piece to fit in it. Actually if you have a milking stanchion we can put the sheep in there and they will probably stand as long as they have a little feed in front of them. Otherwise, put them in halters and we can box them in the runway and do it. It is just the top wool along the spine after all, we don't have to flip them to do the underneath parts, neck, head, legs, etc. Let me know.

    I am also going to bring back 2 tupping harnesses for you and Devonviolet to try. I haven't had success with this brand and have replaced them, but they are like new and you two can try them out. I will bring you each a crayon too. You can try them and you will find that it makes lambing and kidding a breeze by being able to exactly calculate lambing and kidding dates based on the dates the ram or buck marks the female.
     
    B&B Happy goats and Baymule like this.
  2. Jul 10, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    14,413
    Likes Received:
    31,983
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    I don't have a stanchion, can you take a picture of yours and give dimensions? I don't have a welder or a metal scrap pile (yet) to knock one together, but maybe I could make a wooden one. The good thing about wood projects is that the rejects go on the burn pile. LOL

    I have no clippers, my fingers have raw spots on them from the scissors. The salt water solution I used in the fecal tests really "rubbed salt in the wounds" ouch. I want a scale. Future plans include building a roof off the other side of the portable building for parking the tractor, flat bed trailer, and a place to set up the working chute with a loading chute to make life easier when taking lambs to slaughter. When we build that, I want a concrete floor and one of those flat scales will work out real nice.

    Tupping harness! Way cool!
     
  3. Jul 10, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    14,413
    Likes Received:
    31,983
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    B&B Happy goats and AmberLops like this.
  4. Jul 10, 2019
    lilipansy

    lilipansy Ridin' The Range

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    54
    Location:
    Big Island, HI
    Do you make your own salt solution? I make a sugar solution for the fecals because it's the only recipe I found on line but it can be a little sticky at times. Can I have your salt solution recipe please?
     
  5. Jul 10, 2019
    lilipansy

    lilipansy Ridin' The Range

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2017
    Messages:
    35
    Likes Received:
    54
    Trophy Points:
    54
    Location:
    Big Island, HI
    We round our sheep into a catch pen and push them into the chute. Then one by one we grab them, pull them out and flip them to do hooves, drenches, vacs, etc... The problem is that we are getting too old to manually handle the sheep. With the chair we would still have to catch them and flip them. My husband said no more sheep until we figure out a way to be more efficient (i.e. his back does not have to do any of the work). The flip table is perfect, almost hand off and I could do most of it by myself. The sheep are really my thing. You just push them through and the equipment does the rest. They'll get used to being handled as such and will settle down. My sheep are, for the most part, tame and will come to me for food, hugs and kisses except when they KNOW something is up. Who said that sheep are dumb? :)
     
    AmberLops and Baymule like this.
  6. Jul 10, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    14,413
    Likes Received:
    31,983
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    The salt solution is 3/4 cup of pickling salt and 1 pint (16 ounces) of water. I used a bottle of water. Pre measured! LOL
     
    B&B Happy goats and AmberLops like this.
  7. Jul 11, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Location:
    Shadow Hills, CA
    I can't comment about the clippers. I never heard of the Missyee brand and most of the reviews were people wanting to use them to clip their dog. I didn't like what the reviews said - most people complained about the extremely loud noise they made and one person said the instructions told you to wear ear protection. Most electric clippers are somewhat loud, but not like these sounded. Sometimes the loud sound is because the tension is not properly adjusted. However, the price is very good.

    The main thing to remember is that shearing blades dull very quickly because they are cutting through lanolin covered wool and dirt is imbedded in the wool. You also need to buy a brand for which you can get replacement blades easily. You want standard brand blades so you can have them sharpened. Sharpening sets of shearing blades can run from $10/set to $20/set depending in the type of blades. The standard shearing blades consist of a long tongued blade and a shorter tongued piece that is called a comb. You should have several sets of each size blade set so you can switch to a sharp set when the first set gets dull. In your case you only want the standard shearing set, not the close cut or surgical set which are used for different show trims. Once you start showing your registered Katahdins, you can add other blade sets for a slick shear for show. Dorpers need to have enough wool left so the judge can tell how much is hair and how much is wool according to the Standard. MikeCHS will be able to tell you how short to shear for shows. Then after shearing season you send all the used blades off to be sharpened ready for the next season or show.

    You also need to have clipper oil which is a very thin oil to oil the bushings and clipper parts. This is different from the Kool Lube which you spray on the blades themselves to keep them cool while shearing. Several of the reviews complained that the shears got hot almost immediately. The blades get hot from the shearing friction and need to be sprayed with Kool Lube to keep them from burning the animal, and the body of the clipper will eventually get hot if you shear many animals for several hours. We kept several sets of clippers so we could switch off clippers when shearing for show, or especially when shaving goats before a fair. We also had several sizes of clippers as well as blades to use. There is also a blade wash that you pour into a bowl and use to disinfect and wash the blades between sheep. You run the clipper with the blades in the shallow bowl of blade wash and it helps to remove the lanolin and wool from the blades. The lanolin can eventually gum up the blades and cause them to run harder. It is hard on the clipper.

    I will go to the workshop tomorrow and get out our 2 sets of electric shears and look at them. One is an Andis. I want to say that the other one is an Oster but am not sure. One of the best brands is Lister. It is very lightweight but it is also one of the most expensive. If you just want to take off the remaining wool along the spine each that clipper might be ok. But you will need to price replacement blades for it. if you can't get replacement blades for that Missyee clipper I wouldn't buy it. I would wait until the end of summer and see if you can find a 4-H family that is selling their equipment. If you go to the youth Fair during the County Fair and talk to the different 4-H families they might now someone who is graduating and wants to sell their equipment. A lot of kids will sell their equipment to help finance college. Of course they often have already promised it to a younger member of their club.

    I will take photos tomorrow of our clippers and blades. I will also go out to the Connex and look for the box of lamb show equipment and find my hand shears.

    As to the stanchion you can absolutely build one from wood. DH built 2 double stanchions so we could milk 4 dairy goats at once. They were permanent and we had 2 portable ones that we took to shows. I will try to get into the barn loft tomorrow and get a photo of our portable milking stanchion but you can find pictures in any livestock catalog - look for portable stanchions. The Premier one is built so you can use either a stanchion dairy goat head, or a sheep stanchion fitting head. It doesn't have to be portable though and you can easily build a nice solid one from wood. So much handier for trimming hooves, giving shots, etc. Heaven forbid you have to doctor a goat or sheep with mastitis! Those treatments require the insertion of a medicine tube into the teat orifice and pushing the content of the antibiotic tube into the udder. Very unpleasant and the animals definitely don't like it! I will look for any pix I have of our old wooden stanchions that I can scan and post.

    You can show me how to do a fecal count while we are back there. it's gonna be so much fun! I hardly ever get to play anymore with anyone who understands how much fun this is! :highfive:
     
    Baymule likes this.
  8. Jul 11, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    14,413
    Likes Received:
    31,983
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    Thanks for the clipper/shears review @Ridgetop. I need some, but know nothing about them. @Devonviolet wants to learn how to do fecals too. We can have a poop party while the guys cook on the grill. Only BYH'ers would want to closely examine sheep poop under a microscope, then eat lunch. LOL LOL

    @lilipansy do you have a turntable? Can you post a picture of it and how you use it?
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  9. Jul 11, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2010
    Messages:
    14,413
    Likes Received:
    31,983
    Trophy Points:
    763
    Location:
    Northeast Texas
    I finished all the fecals I took of the ewes. I am dumbfounded. Two of them have counts so high that I don't know why they aren't dead. And get this--their eye membranes are pink, not bright pink, but pink. Pink enough that I would never have thought that they are so wormy.

    I followed the genetic trail. One ewe is responsible for the worst of the lot. One of my original ewes, Lady Baa Baa is the mother or grandmother of the worst sheep I have. I was going to keep yet another of her ewe lambs, but NOT NOW! She had a high worm count, was wormed, and later will go to slaughter. I will be keeping one and only one, of the ewe lambs this year. That is Scottie, daughter of Miranda.

    Miranda is the best ewe, along with Ewenique, the other two original ewes. Both of them had a count of 100, meaning that I only found two barber pole worm eggs in the fecal sample. I only have 1 daughter of Ewenique's because she usually has ram lambs, she also had a count of 100. I have 3 daughters of Miranda, they also had low counts.

    So it looks like I will have quite the cull list. Since Ringo has been with the ewes, I will wait for them to lamb, wean, then cull and take the lambs to slaughter. I won't be keeping any more from the Lady Baa Baa ewe. One of Lady Baa Baa's daughters, Lily, had a low count--BUT her wether lamb had bottle jaw last week, so he got wormed and the bottle jaw is down to normal. I have not tested him, it was already obvious. We ran the lambs through the chute today and he got a dose of two different wormers.

    This has been a real eye opener. I have checked eye membranes and thought I had healthy sheep. :barnie What has really been interesting is tracing it back to one ewe. There will definitely be some changes around here.

    I said it already, but I will say it again, Thank you Teresa for showing me what to do and putting this valuable tool in my hands. Thank you. I in turn will teach @Devonviolet and @Ridgetop has asked to learn how to run fecals too, when they come to Texas. So you are going to have a positive impact on others besides me. :clap
     
    B&B Happy goats likes this.
  10. Jul 12, 2019
    Ridgetop

    Ridgetop True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,290
    Likes Received:
    2,726
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Location:
    Shadow Hills, CA
    That is incredible that there were no signs of the worm problem when they had high counts! It will be really worthwhile to learn how to do the counts. You are smart to start culling based on parasite resistance. By doing that you will eventually have a flock of all animals with high resistance. Great ,management tool.

    Can't wait to play in poop! LOL
     

    Attached Files:

    Baymule likes this.