We have been trying to decide what to do about the males. The barn isn't really set up to accomodate males and females - they live in too close proximity for either group to be completely relaxed. And we have 1 yearling male that has been living with the females as he hasn't gone through puberty yet. Or so we thought.
Last week he started to try to mount a few of the females. Dr. Sherry examined him when she came out for Buckwheat, and thought that perhaps he might be on the cusp of puberty. He is still too little to live with the males, who are not only much bigger than him but are also quick to get into spitting contests with each other over the females. His fleece seems quite good (not that we know for certain since the results of our first shearing are still in the garage!) so we didn't want to sell him, but we didn't want to risk him with the males. And we certainly couldn't have him living with the females. So we got him neutered. It seemed the best solution - he has a good personality and is comfortable with humans. He should grow into a good sized male, which will be good in terms of the amount of fleece he grows. And neutering him should only improve the fleece itself.
Dr. Sherry and her vet student did it outside today on the grass by the paddock. He was sedated and then Michele said it was a quick procedure (I was at work, of course). He came to shortly after and by the end of the day showed no ill-effects. He gets a couple of sprays of blu-kote a day, to protect the incision from the flies and dirt but otherwise it seemed pretty straightforward. We are both really relieved that one potential problem has been eliminated.
A sheep farmer meets an urban gardener. Fleece ensues.
The Reading List
*Animal, Vegetable, Miracle