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Author Topic: First time dagging  (Read 4455 times)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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First time dagging
« on: March 31, 2012, 08:26:38 am »
Something that experienced sheep keepers will be able to do in their sleep probably! I'm a bit nervous, got to dag my year old ewes today, finally got my shears (the ones I had before were blunt).

I've seen it done a few times but not actually done it.  If you have any tips I'd be grateful, as you know this is all very new to me  :)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2012, 08:34:52 am »
I do mine standing up. Have someone hold them steady, tie them up or invent some sort of headgate.

Hold the wool but don't pull it, as this stretches the skin and can cause you to nick it. But just go slowly, take off what's dirty and don't forget under the tail. Keep the points of your shears away from their girl/boy bits.

You really will find it's pretty straightforward - if a rather messy job! And if you do nick them, well no sheep died from that, squirt with blue terramycin spray and all will be fine.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2012, 08:48:36 am »
All you are doing is trimming off any poopy wool from their back ends.  How extensive this is depends on how mucky they are, and on whether the muck is wet or dry.
First tip is - don't pull the wool, as this will cause the skin to 'tent' and you will cut through it.
Only cut where you have a clear view and you know you are not going to cut off teats, bits of vulva, penile sheath, tail etc.
For small lambs, using Swiss Army knife scissors can sometimes help where there is poop very close to the skin.
Don't think you have to do it one way because that's what you've seen - do it however suits you, your system and your skill level.
You might need to wash them afterwards with warm soapy water to get off wet muck.   Nice clean 'rattly' dags are great to trim  ;D
It helps to have the sheep well secured.  Some bits of dagging can be done with the sheep sitting on its bum, but other bits need it standing, so a halter or an assistant can be useful.  Failing that, put the head in a corner, straddle the sheep facing backwards, gripping just in front of the back legs gently but firmly with your knees, and bend over to reach the tail etc

My computer died when I tried to send this, so here's hoping it's working this time...
www.scothebs.co.uk

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plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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Re: First time dagging
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2012, 09:04:32 am »
Thank you Jaykay and Fleecewife.  Standing up it is then! Husband has offered to help hold them ( I think he actually fancies himself as a sweeney todd but I'll be doing the snipping  ;)  )
Really appreciate the points you've made - in particular not pulling the fleece as I think I might have made that mistake.
wait till it warms up a bit and we shall go trimming! thank you  :)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

Moleskins

  • Joined Sep 2009
  • England
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2012, 09:27:03 am »
My two penneth on this would be,
don't use shears with long blades as it's very easy to be concentrating on the cutting area and forget where the points are going to hit.
I see you said you're going to wait 'til it warms up and then do them. I'd get out there while it's a bit cooler as you'll find it a lot easier if your not sweating buckets.
Time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a banana.

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2012, 09:40:46 am »
Good point Moleskins - will get  hubby out there with me as soon as he's back from the timber merchant buying in the new fencing (goat kids are fantastic escape artists aren't they?!  ;D  )
I've bought some small dagging shears , smallest I could get. Am going to have the 'singing shearer' shear them properly in the near future but want to get Nimble's daggy bits off because she's looking like prime target for flies at the mo and I'm worried.
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2012, 10:15:29 am »
My tip is keep the shears level, don't go pointing the er points towards the skin/fleece. Keep the blades parallel to the area you are trimming. I have also surgical scissors on tricky bits (I got laughed at but I don't care!) ;D
We'll turn the dust to soil,
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jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2012, 10:17:13 am »
Philip, aka Singing Shearer, did mine last year and was brilliant. I hope he'll do my Shetlands this year too though way too early for me to be thinking of shearing yet, with snow on the way  ::)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
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Re: First time dagging
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2012, 12:00:38 pm »
I did it!!!  All by myself (hubby had offered but I knew he was near enough to shout if I needed him, which I didn't) I am just really lucky to have 2 sheep that were bottled reared and are incredibly tame, don't think I could have done it otherwise for my first time.
Did all their feet same time. The smell of dags will be up my nose for some time to come
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

jaykay

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2012, 12:07:01 pm »
Yay, good for you  :thumbsup:

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2012, 01:23:54 pm »
Well done  :thumbsup:  I usually find an excuse for my OH to have the business end so he has the smelly hands  ;D
www.scothebs.co.uk

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

   Five Freedoms
   # Freedom from Hunger and Thirst.
   # Freedom from Discomfort.
   # Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease.
   # Freedom to Express Normal Behavior.
   # Freedom from Fear and Distress

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: First time dagging
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2012, 01:41:00 pm »
Well done, you'll soon be an old hand and showing other people how to do it ;D Don't throw the daggings away, put them in your runner bean trench or keep them in a paper feed sack and put them in a barrel of water later on along with nettles for plant feed. :)

 

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