It is a delight to be the spouse of a hard working, joy-filled, dedicated man.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tail Gate Party

Below this cute little story are some graphic pictures of tail docking. By all means skip them if you choose.

By the way thanks for the prayers for my fever issue, I awoke this morning completely refreshed. No fever and most of the lymph back to normal, although I am much better today, as you can see I am actually up taking pictures, I will be taking it easier than normal this next week. I'll be picking back up with my fast and cleanse with special attention to the lymph and you can check out the progress over on The Sheet Diet.

On with today's story.

Larry was mortified by the condition of his ears. This was not the proper look for a dignified Suffolk, what with one ear going up high and the other looking like it was broke at the joint, it was positively laughable. He was blue.

"Harry, what are we going to do when it is time to join the herd?"
"Oh, Larry it really isn't that big of a deal."
"Okay, you think it is no big deal that it looks like our mom got crazy with the perm solution? This is no way for a Suffolk ram to begin his life."

"Uh, ya about that whole ram thing, I got news for you Larry, pal...

"We're scheduled for Dirt's tail gate surgery party.

Well that surgery isn't for a couple more days but there was some surgery going on today but it was just tail docking, only girls in today's batch. So hang on the pictures might not go well with your morning coffee and biscuit.

These are Dirt's tail docking tools, this big huge thing in the bucket is called a burdizo, there is a knife on the other end of the clamp and a rag, all soaking in a betadine solution.

The bottles are an antiseptic sulfur dust, and yes that is dental floss in the upholstry needle that he uses to stitch up the tail.

He soaks the whole tail area that he is going to cut. Tails need to come off. (Check it out, it really is a "tailgate" party.) Breeding is easier without long tails and when you have sheep on natural pasture it is easy for them to get into things that causes them to have nasty poo.

And then, when you have a wooly tail behind you, you soon have a nasty tail behind you and soon you have flies growing on you. Not very nice. Docking tails is much nicer. But like everything else there is controversy.

Dirt sets the burdizo so that the pinchers land between vertebrae. The purpose of the burdizo is to crush the cord and vessels.

And it also gives him an edge to slide the blade on and that is what the action is here. But this lamb was a wiggle worm. Usually it only takes one person to hold them but even Bet had to pitch in to hold this one.

Now for the stitching part. Dirt puts a couple of stitches in the tail but leaves a little drain room other wise sanguenous fluid collects in the tail. Doc Tibbits refused to let Dirt ever use bands although sometimes it does seem easier. But he taught Dirt how to do it and we have never lost a lamb because of tail docking.

But this little missy thinks she is going to die, and if those stiches weren't bad enough.

Dirt says in a very stern voice, "Roll over, and next time when I say don't wiggle, I mean don't wiggle."

A couple extra stitches go in to fix the extra nick. So let that be a lesson, when you hear the words "Don't wiggle." Don't wiggle.
If you think that was fun, you oughta see what he does to the boys.


Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

ow ow ow ow ow ow ow OW!

smiles, bee

Susie said...

I realize things have to be done but oh my goodness poor baby. I can't even imagine what happens to the boys. ooooh

Melli said...

Well that settles that! I am NEVER raising sheep!

LindaSueBuhl said...

We are grateful - goats have wonderful short perky tails which don't get pooped up. The boys are about to have banding done (we band testicles and it works great on goats). DH loves to make "city folk" squirm describing the process in detail - especially the reactions of some of the little guys. Men are such useful and interesting critters. WONDERFUL to hear you are feeling so much better - I saw three robins this morning on my lawn (almost the full extent of my birding knowledge). Woo hoo spring is HERE (almost)

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

thanks for posting this. at least i'm not the only one around here posting "real" country life ( like my elk leg/hoof). poor little lamb.. it needs to be done though.

Sparky ♥ ∞ said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better! Hurray! It's awful to have a fever and feel yucky. Been there, done that. Please do take it easy for a bit. Give your body a chance to heal.
Now, that was interesting about goat tails! Some of our neighbors raise goat's and I wondered why tail docking was done. Now I know. :o)
It doesn't bother me to see things like that but I hunt and fish a lot. Hunting is much more 'violent' than tail docking. It's just part of life. ♥ ∞

Don said...

That is so interesting! It reminds me of the "Dirty Jobs" show when he helped 'Undo" the boys, except he did it with his teeth! Is that how Dirt operates? :)

I'm glad you are feeling better. fevers make you feel yucky

Tipper said...

I always wonder with things like tail docking-who first figured out it would be make the life of the animal easier?

You mentioned you family's worn clothes-my family's looks the same. I've always teased my husband he should get a job being a test dummy for clothes and boots.

A. Joy said...

I think what makes it all okay is when you put them back in the pasture and yeah, they might hobble like they've just been kicked in the groin but the next day they're leaping and bounding and don't remember a thing from the day before. That and the fact that cleaning up a fly infested sheep is soooooo much worse!!!
Thanks for posting this so I can show the kiddies!