Today is day 17 in the breeding season, so that means it's time to change Calvin's crayon. It's easier to tell if a ewe gets re-marked when the crayon colors are different.
There are several types and colors of crayons. The type you use depends on the weather conditions. Hard crayons are just that. They're meant to be used when temperatures are over 85* F. If they're too soft, they will melt and you won't get good useage out of them. Medium crayons are used when the temperatures are between 60*F and 85*F. Soft crayons are for below 60*F.
They also come in several colors. It's easier to start with a lighter color and go darker as the season goes on. It's hard to see an orange mark over a blue one. We started out with orange, so I'm putting in a blue crayon today.
I'm using a mild because, well, that's what I have.
The crayons have holes in the sides so you can fasten it to the harness.
Most crayons come with two types, the metal pin and two plastic pins. I usually prefer the plastic ones because the only tools I usually need are my fingernails. David just told me a real shepherd has tools in his/her pocket. Oh well. He said he's going to buy me a Leatherman. Ok, he didn't really say that.
The metal pins require pliers to bend the tips over.
This crayon was pretty much done. It's a little too hard now that the weather is starting to cool down.
Here's the new crayon all ready to go. It would have been easier to put in if :
1) Calvin was patient and didn't fidget
2)Clarabell didn't use me as her personal scratching post
This is how you know when you're finished.
Ok Calvin, back to work!