Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Wagging Their Tails behind Them?
~"Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep and can't tell where to find them. Leave them alone and they'll come home, wagging their tails behind them." . "Do I look like Little Bo Peep to you? Goodness, such a fuss and ruckus about tails ? Who needs a tail anyway? I don't! " says Delilah.~"Then up she took her little crook, determined to find them; She found them indeed, but it made her heart bleed, for they'd left their tails behind them." Goth ( above ), ever proud of himself and knowing he is fully entitled to respect and admiration...says " I have a perfect tail! Short and covering a very important part of my anatomy. After all, who wants flies messing around in some very sensitive areas. They might lay eggs there and cause all sorts of distress that might distract me from pursuing my beloved ewes and ramming fences! I am perfectly pleased with my short tail!" ( he is looking a little pudgy here , I think) ~Here is a Jacob lamb with her tail still intact. There is a very tight rubber band on her tail, about 3 inches down from her spine, and it is cutting off circulation to the rest of her tail. It will wither and drop off. Sounds awful, but is necessary as far as I am concerned. " The tail in Jacobs is long, round and woolly reaching to the knees if un-docked.( you can see that this lamb's tail is even longer) Most people prefer to dock for the sake of cleanliness. Although Jacobs are fairly good at lifting their tails up, if they happen to get soiled--especially at lambing time or in the spring when the grass is lush and green-they can get heavy with dung tags. An owner would have to witness fly strike only once in their life to be convinced of the necessity of tail docking." Ingrid Painter JACOB SHEEP IN AMERICA
~" It happened one day, as Bo Peep did stray into a meadow hard by, there she espied their tails side by side, All hung on a tree to dry." Nursery Rhyme (above: lamb tails that have fallen off)~Here is the posterior of Black Bart. He has a long tail. His tail has not been docked. The shearer needed to shear him to the end of his tail. Black Bart is an easy keeper and he says"My tail is quite beautiful, and I love the curls that grow out as my wool grows. Any cleanliness is your duty as a shepherdess to take care of. Just don't be expecting me to volunteer to stand still while you do that, or make it easy in any way for you to catch me!" You might have noticed I tend towards tail docking in my sheep. Like any other topic, this can be controversial and I have read up on this, and seen the sheep of people who feel strongly that a sheep should not have it's tail docked. I respect their right to do as they wish, but I will continue to dock the tails of my sheep because there are hot and awful summers when flies are pretty pesky and sheep have wool. Wool does not shed like hair on a dog's tail will. The woolly tails of sheep get woollier and manure clings like sticky tar to it. Flies LOVE this gunk. They spread the word and before you know it, you have a thriving fly community in a very unhappy sheep's tail! And that's my sheep tale about tails today. My sheep do have tails wagging behind them, but they are SMALL tails! Blessings: sheep, lambs, sunny spring days to watch lambs play