Friday 11 July 2014

Clipping and dipping

You could see the relief on the ewes faces yesterday after losing their 4 kg woollen overcoats when it was 25 C in the shade. Hughiie took them down to his big shed to clip, too hot outside and he's all set up for it in
Its back breaking work

Only one wasn't clipped next year's fleece hadn't risen to separate the old from the new wool so it will have to suffer in the sun, it was the latest to to lamb so that could have something to do with it.

Years ago we dipped the sheep to control insect pests. First there were the organochlorines like Dieldrin, very effective but disastrous for the wider environment.

Then came the organo-phosphates, slightly less damaging to wildlife but there were nasty effects on the people doing the dipping. You had to immerse the sheep in the bath by pushing it under this resulted in lots of splashing on to humans .

 The wool had to grow back for a week or two before dipping so that there was something to hold the chemicals. All of that is over. Today it was a simple task  of pouring a measured dose of systemic insecticide along the mid line of the ewe's  back. Its similar to the stuff you use on your domestic cats and dogs for fleas. Much easier and safer as long as you where latex gloves.

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