This poor chap has flystrike. When the weather goes wet then warm, flies lay their eggs in the humid fleeces, and maggots burrow into the sheep. It's both disgusting and, if left untreated, life-threatening for a sheep.
There is a special dip that I can pour over their backs to prevent flystrike, but I can't treat the flock until the fleeces come off or the fleeces won't be saleable. I can't treat the ram lambs at all as they're going to Ice Camp this week, and the spray has 40 day withdrawal period. This means that you can't put an animal in the food chain until 41 days after application. I never use the dip on any of my lambs or hoggets going for meat.
This ram lamb just needs to be safe and comfortable until ice camp on Wednesday. It won't matter that he looks like this, shorn by me with the cheap, plug-in clippers I bought for trimming bottoms, not whole sheep -
Basically, I just gave him the $5 student hair cut ours moms made us have at the strip mall hair salons when we were kids.
After seeing their mate, the rest of the flock is really hoping the professionals turn up tonight. And I'm going to tell the guys at the abattoir that my husband sheared this lamb, and roll my eyes knowingly. Pffftt. Amateurs I'll say, without a trace of guilt.
If anyone near Hereford would like to purchase half a hogget, butchered and bagged, we have a few halves ready next week. They are for sale at £65 and can be collected at your convenience. Please email me.