NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Grooming  (Read 263 times)

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Grooming
« on: November 30, 2019, 08:52:29 pm »
So my poor Radnors had to be shifted to a neighbouring field as ours are absolutely bogging after all this rain. This field is not in great shape and had a lot of dock in it so tall, dry, and  rather like a forest. I didn’t realise about the seeds and of course they’re all in the sheeps’ wool  :( What’s the best method of getting them off? Is there a particular comb that would do the job? A curry comb?? I haven’t groomed them before! We’ve broken the stalks off a lot of them and going tomorrow to get a cutter on them. And the thistles. We’re grateful for the field but really wish it was in better condition!!
Voss Electric Fence

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Grooming
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2019, 01:03:44 am »
I didn't like to depress you when you mentioned the docks before in an earlier post, but it's well nigh impossible to  remove dock seeds from a sheep's fleece.  The seeds are covered in sharp bits which hang on, and the fleece is covered in lanolin and sticky stuff, so separating the two just doesn't happen.  Your only chance I would say is if your sheep are recently shorn so their fleece is only an inch or so long.  In that case you could try something like this : https://www.showtime-supplies.co.uk/shop/combs-and-brushes-sheep  which people use before showing.  I'm not sure how well it would work as you couldn't get right down to skin.  Be careful you don't scratch the skin.  Incidentally, brushing a sheep takes ages!  Cleavers and burrs are even worse?
www.scothebs.co.uk

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bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Grooming
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2019, 06:46:28 am »
I wouldn't worry to much about them, I only have docks in my horse fields, the sheep they tend to eat them when they start to grow and they never develop!


Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Grooming
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2019, 11:37:00 am »
I wouldn't worry to much about them, I only have docks in my horse fields, the sheep they tend to eat them when they start to grow and they never develop!


But @bj_cardiff  these docks are at the 'having set seed and now dry and shedding' stage.  The sheep won't eat them now, but they will stick in the fleece.  When the sheep return to tommytink's land, they could drop some of the seeds back onto his pastures and infest them.  It also means his fleeces will be unsaleable if they are badly contaminated.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Grooming
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2019, 11:52:44 am »
Sorry Fleecewife - I should of explained better.

I think that the damage is done with the seeds in the sheeps fleeces. So no poijnt worrying about it. Because of the low value of the fleece I don't think its worth any attempt at trying to remove the seeds unless your planning using the fleeces yourself of course?

I don't think you should be overly concerned at the seeds on the sheeps fleeces infecting your paddocks either. Its unlikely that the seeds that germinate will grow for long in a sheep field as they eat the small dock plants. Of course if you only had a hanfdful of sheep on a lot of acres you may have an issue. Or if you rest fields and turn sheep onto fresh fields with 3ft high woody stemmed dock plants and lots of grass they are likely to ignore the dock!

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Grooming
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2019, 04:04:21 pm »
I think you're right that the seeds are not coming out!
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

tommytink

  • Joined Aug 2018
Re: Grooming
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2019, 08:15:35 pm »
Darnit. I did have a feeling that it prob wouldn’t be viable as fleece isn’t like hair, is it?
I’m not too bothered about selling the fleece. My main concern is whether the seeds are going to cause them discomfort.
I thought maybe I could lightly trim the worst areas with my shears. I’ll see what they’re like when they come back. I’ve trimmed the majority of the stalks down now so hopefully this will limit the damage. There’s also standard thistle in there which has dried and is breaking off. It’s turning into a bit of a nightmare field but with this weather we were inbetween a rock and a hard place.

 

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