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Last fall I sent four sheep to freezer camp. I felt bad, but it had to be done (ram was too aggressive, two had problems with lambs, third had been injured earlier in the year and I didn't want to risk her getting pregnant again)

Of my six year old ewes, one has not seemed very healthy last year and this. Her fleece this year was thinner than normal, and for the past few months she has not been acting herself, seperating off from the heard, kicking at nothing, and so on. She was worse today and I took her to the vet to be put down. I could have butchered her, but I thought she might be sick.

Is there something I can do myself that will bring down a sheep as well as a federally restricted barbituate? I was able to put the ewe in my car and drive her the 40 minute trip, but what if I've got a sheep that is less trusting? Not a gun. I've never handled firearms and don't want to learn on my sheep. Any animal fit for the freezer will go to the butcher.
 

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Maybe you could find a friend with a firearm who could do it for you. Its quick and painless when done right, and theres nothing else I know of that you could do yourself.

Also maybe you could find a Vet who does farm calls, but around here that adds about $50 to the cost
 

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As unpleasant as it is to shoot an animal, it is a must and I would suggest you get someone to teach you to be proficient and comfortable handling firearms. We lost a number of ewes this lambing season due to a previously unheard of problem around here-ringwomb. The ewes were suffering and a large animal vet call in the middle of the night would have cost me a fortune. Letting it continue was not acceptable and I shot them with a .22. It is not something I want to have to do, but when needed I don't hesitate.

As BFF said it is quick and painless if done right and it is not something that is difficult to learn to do, in fact I believe someone posted something on this forum about how to dispatch an animal with a pistol. I prefer a rifle, but it is just a matter of what you are most comfortable with. I consider it to be part of my job as the caretaker of these animals to be able to end their lives in the most humane way possible when that is what is best for them.
 

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I'm sorry Maura but the other two are right. If the States is like NZ, and I should imagine it is in this instance, you are not going to be allowed anything that is lethal enough to kill an animal.

I don't like the shooting of stock either and will avoid it like the plague and willingly leave it up to Kevin to do BUT if push comes to shove and there is nobody else around, then yes, I can and will dispatch.

So, as has been suggested, find a neighbour or friend to do it for you and also have them show you how to use a firearm correctly. I long ago recognised that owning a rifle on a farm, and being able to use it, was as mandatory as having fencing and grass.

Cheers,
Ronnie
 
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