Having recently being assisting to get tups off and setting ewes back to the hill it almost seemed too early to be coppering sheep. A job done half way through pregnancy, or ten weeks from lambing, I had overlooked the fact that some of the flocks I assist throughout the year have earlier seasons than others. There must have been a look of shock when the copper was brought out alongside the fluke dose for this particular flock.
I wont bore you with the reasons for and against the need to copper sheep, it ought to be catalogued on this page http://blog.tarset.co.uk/2010/02/coppering-ewes.html
Life wasn't so simple way back in the Swaycop days. Each syringe had to have a needle attached to it, once used the syringe was discarded and another used on the next sheep, boy how we've moved on!
The memory that held strongest in my mind though was the viscosity of the copper used back then, 'twas thick stuff, so thick in fact that it was necessary to keep the syringes in your jeans pockets to keep them warm or the paste wouldn't run through the needle. On really cold frosty days a bucket of hot water sat in the sheep pens and the syringes found themselves chucked in it before being used to give the thick stuff a sporting chance of thinning down and running through the needle - must have been uncomfortable for the sheep having sludge administered under their skin.
Now we have one bottle capable of treating 50 sheep, an automatic syringe, no hot water necessary and not loads of disused syringes lying around at the end of the day - life really has moved on!
On the subject of cold, frosty days......
that is exactly what the weather is gracing us with at the moment
It is much appreciated by both man and beast
Dry underfoot and good, healthy weather