Not really, but I'm beginning to think that they should be standard equipment for farmwives. This has been a wild week. First there was the Rooster-on-the-Head incident a few days ago, and now a Sheep Incident.
We keep the sheep closed up in the lot at night and turn them out to graze in the morning. Well, I went out as usual to open the gate. Remember my talking about the sheep covers we put on a few of them after shearing this spring? One of the covered sheep was about to come out the gate. It hadn't come open very far, and I was still kind of in the opening. A couple of fallen limbs were in the vicinity; not too big around but pretty long. As this particular sheep came toward the gate, she got the strap on her coat caught on the limb. Of course that scared her, and she started to run...right out the gate where I was standing! And with the opening kind of small, there wasn't much space for her to go through. I was somehow caught up between the sheep, her coat, the limb, and the fence post. I kind of remember noticing something hitting my back and then bumping against the post. Kind of smarted actually. Somehow she got on past and left me standing there. She went charging across the pasture, terrified because the limb was still hooked to her coat and was "chasing" her. As I stood there trying to get my bearings, she went maybe 50 feet or so and must have gotten tangled up herself, because she fell there in the pasture. It was probably lucky for her that she fell while I was watching, because she had landed, as the cattlemen say, "with her back downhill." I knew that a cow can't survive very long if that happens. I figured it was the same with sheep and ran out there to see if I could get her up. The strap was still hooked on the limb, but I managed to break the limb enough to twist it a little and get the strap undone. I thought she'd jump right up then, but her back was downhill enough that she couldn't roll over the way she needed to get up. I pushed and pulled, but couldn't get her up at first. I went around to the other side and considered grabbing her foot, rolling her over the other way, making it easier for her. But I know from experience that they can kick hard if they want to and decided against it. I went back around then and pushed a little more, and this time she was able to jump up on her own. She looked as if she were wondering where the rest of the flock had gone, and then trotted off like nothing had happened. She had managed to pull her foot out of the strap, though, and I noticed this afternoon that the coat was completely off.
I'm sporting a few minor scratches on my back now, but surprisingly, hardly any bruises. Between the roosters and the sheep, I think I'll start wearing a football helmet and pads to do the chores. I wonder what people would think when they went by and saw me wearing that in the sheep pen? :)