If you haven’t been reading the Wooly Chronicles from the beginning, you can click the links to catch up. It helps knowing the whole story, and I think you will get a kick out of our little lamb adventures!
Being that this whole adventure into sheep is brand new, that means that pretty much everything we decide to do with
them is an experiment. A few weeks ago we decided that we should weigh the wee fluffy buggers, and so the discussions began on just how we would accomplish that. My dad, being the amazon guru that he is, found a veterinary office type scale (You can check it out with the link!)It isn’t the kind of livestock scale I’m used to seeing, however, it had many of the traits we were looking for. It’s stainless steel, has a digital read out, and can weigh critters up to 500 pounds. Plus it was inexpensive. I was instantly impressed. So we ordered the scale and waited. In normal Amazon style the scale arrived just as expected.
On the day we decided to try out our experiment, we opened up two fence panels to make a hole in the fence. Then we
attached our home made sheep catcher. It’s not quite as sophisticated as it sounds. Basically it’s two fence panels bent and hinged together to make a sort of circular shape. Then we put the scale down on a piece of plywood in the sheep catcher. We attached a bucket of oats to the fence and basically opened up the catcher so they could come in as they pleased. To be clear, we don’t feed the oats daily. It’s only often enough so they know the taste and we can use it against them in order to bribe them into going where we want them. And, it works.
Being herd animals, most of them went into our catcher right away. Then it was a simple matter of letting out all but one lamb so that we could get an accurate reading of weight. Once one of them stuck his nose in the oats, he couldn’t possibly have cared less what we were doing. The only snag was making sure that he had all four of his wee little hooves on the scale at once. For our future plans, we are going to close in the
sheep catcher just a little better so as to make it harder for them to step off the scale.
Once the sheep was weighed we just opened up the catcher and shooed him out. We were able to weigh several sheep in a short time span, and decided that everyone is growing at a satisfactory rate. About half the flock will be at market weight in just about a month or so.