Sore Foot

The title of this post refers to Marley’s sore foot, although I thought, the way this adventure started, that it might be about my feet as well.

My landlord, Kathy, had noticed that Marley was limping last week. Sure enough, when I saw him he was heavily favoring one front foot. Last December, my vet had told me that he has some structural weakness in his hooves (he was limping then, too) and that it would be important to keep his hooves trimmed. Well…..time passed and I hadn’t gotten another hoof trim in so decided that today was the day, even though he was no longer limping.

Marley is a very big boy, compared to my Jacobs – somewhere between 375 and 400 pounds. He is pretty good-natured but can be difficult to move or maneuver if he doesn’t want to go somewhere. I stopped in at Robin’s (Meridian Jacobs) – my mentor on all things sheep – and discussed options (my vet had trimmed his hooves last time). We settled on the idea of using my sheep stand. I should be able to get him up there, secure his neck, and get at his hooves with little problem. Yeah, right.

I gathered goodies – grass hay and some grain – to lure him where I wanted him to go.

With a llama in the pasture, when your hands are full, you have to be clever about where to put the food!

I brought in my ramp to attach to the sheep stand to help Marley get up on it. It has worked well in the past with other sheep.

Sid, "Oh, oh, Marley, I've seen this thing before"

No photos of the chaos that ensued once I tried to distract everyone except Marley with another container of grain, and use the hay and more grain to lure Marley up the ramp. Sid and Marley appreciated the aftermath……

Marley decided that ramp looked just too scary to go up. I was getting concerned I might get injured – or at least get my feet stomped on.

Next step, get a halter on him and lead him up the ramp. He didn’t object to the halter this time, like he did a week or so ago when the vet was there. However, he was not about to be led up that ramp. So, I decided to just tether him to the panel next to the shelter gate.

This worked quite well, although I was a little concerned about the fit of this halter. He didn’t appreciate having his feet lifted too much but I was able to trim his left side feet. I then turned him around, re-tethered him and found the culprit hoof. The tip was broken off and some other parts needed trimming. It took me awhile to do this. Again, he wasn’t too happy to have me keep picking up that foot. When I finally straightened up  – I discovered that he had slipped out of the halter, but was still standing there, untethered, next to the panel! I had a good laugh. Then, he then discovered he wasn’t tethered and took off!

He didn’t go far but was clearly indignant about the whole experience. Can you see it in his expression?!

"I don't know WHAT you thought you were doing but wasn't I clever to get out of that?!"

All was forgiven when I got them half a flake of hay.

Marley even let Quentin eat off his back. Adventure over and no one’s hooves (or feet) were injured in this tale.

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Published in: on May 24, 2011 at 1:19 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. All’s well that ends well. Did trimming take care of the sore foot? How the heck did Marley get out of the halter. That’s pretty funny that he continued to stand there.

    • Well, he had stopped limping before I trimmed so the proof will probably be in a couple days to make sure he doesn’t resume limping. I had put the sheep halter on but they are just too small. I need to get a new llama halter at Black Sheep Gathering – remind me!

  2. Marley is such a character. Love him!


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