Today was the day to try out equipment Roy has been busy making over the fall and winter. He has built a set of yards to work the sheep, including a capture chute that has a scale built into it. Many thanks to Gibraltar Farm for the great advice on building all of this! Purchasing this equipment would cost many thousands of dollars, and this homemade version, while a little “clunky,” is perfectly adequate.
It’s time to see how much weight these girls have gained since joining us at Morning Star Meadows. Also time to boost their vaccinations, check feet and overall health.
This is the basic set up with the chute and a number of simple panels made from 2x4s that connect either with rebar or good ‘ol baling twine!
Bringing the sheep up from their pasture was easy, as the girls are quite used to us and to being moved. In fact, they will call to us when they want to go to the next pasture!
Getting them to move into the chute was quite simple. In fact we had more trouble stopping their friends from trying to double up!
Once in the chute it was simple to record their weight, give them a quick health check and administer their yearly vaccination.
Everyone gets a turn to inject a vaccine. This is the multivalent vaccine covering Clostridium perfringens types C & D and tetanus.
And finally we noticed that with all the rain we’ve been having, some of their hooves had overgrown (walking on the soft ground, not wearing them down), and they needed a bit of a pedicure before letting them back on to the pasture. It was relatively simple to catch them as they exited the chute and tip them onto their rear for a few seconds of toenail sculpting.
2 Replies to “Spring sheep maintenance”
Do you have instructions on how to make the chute?
Or even detailed/close-up pictures from different angles?
I really need to build one for my little homestead.
I would really appreciate it.
I don’t have detailed instructions, sorry! These photos show a good bit of it – one end of the chute is just a sliding door that can be pulled out all the way. The other “release” side is a door that can be pulled up using a pulley system from the side – it falls back down by gravity. The dimensions will depend of the size of your sheep. Allow enough room for a full sized ram or pregnant ewe – but not enough room that a young lamb could spin around too much!