Monday, August 17, 2009

Free At Last!

We sprung Queen Esther out of the local Animal Shelter this afternoon, aided by one of Murphy's Finest, Officer Tammy. DD helped, too, because we needed lots of help to corner our girl in a pen that was big enough for her to get a little speed up, and crash nose-first into the chain link. Which she did. She bloodied her own nose in the process. Sheep can be kind of, um, self-destructive. With just a mini-rodeo, we had her caught and loaded.

Tammy not only helped load Esther into her Critter Mobile (as I dubbed it) but she drove Esther to the farm and helped wrestle her into the waiting pen. Since we had worm issues, and since QE is still as wild as March hare, I dosed her with wormer before we turned her loose in her new little pen. I wanted to handle her as little as possible today, so that she could begin to settle into her new home.

Now, the issue is shearing. This is going to be a hot week, and even though QE has shown herself to be unbelievably tough in this heat, I don't see any reason to prolong the discomfort. Also, she's got a fairly pronounced limp, and we need to investigate the cause. So I picked up the phone and reached a shearer who had been recommended to me - a young lady who is willing to do small flocks in this area. I told her that my experience is still limited and that I'd appreciate her help and some "teaching." By a miracle, she is off work tomorrow and will be here at 9:30 AM to help us out. We can get the wool off (trying to salvage as much as possible), look her over for skin problems or cuts, abrasions or whatnot, and see what's wrong with her right front foot, if anything. A complete sheepy spa makeover.

The other sheep welcomed the Queen with curiosity, if not reverence. In fact, Shadrach gave her a couple of unceremonious butts through the fence. I believe when we get her wool off that Shad will be the bigger sheep of the two. But they won't get the opportunity to jostle for the crown for a while yet. After a couple of hours in her new home, she relaxed noticeably and I hope she will get a good night's sleep among her much-needed ovine companions.

In other farm news, I found another chain link pen for sale on Craig's List: 7.5' x 7.5' x 4' for a really good price. I just had to drive to Lewisville to get it. Ms. Laurie lives on the way, so I met her and we went to pick it up from a real nice guy who was cleaning up some rental property. Laurie, Lance and I tied the one-piece pen to the truck within an inch of its life and I trundled slowly down the road to home. Some people collect stamps or Hummel figurines. I collect chain link. You just never know when you're going to need a handy pen for a new critter, or a sick critter, or a stray critter. And it was cheap. Just like me. Squeak, squeak...

Tomorrow, the big reveal, as QE is relieved of her woolen raiment... Be sure to tune in!

5 comments:

  1. I'm so glad QE is among friends. I was really worried about her n Sunday. I'm sure with the kind loving care from her new humans, and the somewhat less-loving but still important indifference from her sheep soon-to-be-buddies, she will rally right up.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ohhhh, I can't wait to see how she cleans up! Also hope her leg isn't too bad -- can we hope that it's just a rock stuck in her foot or something? ;)

    Wish I could be there for the shearing lesson, too -- are you going to weigh her before and after?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think she knew exactly where she was headed a few days ago—straight to where she would be loved and cared for.

    If she lives up to her name, your boys have met their match!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I soooo wish I was there to help! I know she'll be beautiful, though! And I'm glad she's home--safe and sound!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Way behind on favorite blogs... What a story about this ewe! I agree - cormo. If you don't have a shepherds crook, it's a great tool for catching "wild" sheep. Just carefully grab them under the chin/jaw and you can usually hold them for the second or two it takes to get your hands on them.

    Thanks for giving a sheep with a story a good home. Can't wait to see the sheared pictures. That fleece is probably ruined, but there's always next year :-D.

    ReplyDelete