We gave Bill and Percy baths. Because it was hot, their pits were getting stanky, and Jamie's brother Josh was over so we had to give him a proper initiation. Just kidding. Kinda. ;)
Actually, we were given a set of sheep coats as a wedding gift and we wanted to get our two white sheep nice and clean before putting them on. What's a sheep coat? you say... It's like 100 degrees out. Why the hell are you putting a coat on a sheep in a Maryland summer? I thought the same thing before attempting to pick through wool from sheep without sheep coats.
It turns out sheep live in barnyards and actually get very filthy, especially during the winter when they're consuming bale after bale of hay and sticking their heads into the trough and peeking up with hay-manes like chubby little lions. They also get very sweaty in this weather and it beads up with the dust and the wool and creates these little nuggets that hang near their doo-dads and armpits and bumholes. They look vaguely similar to miniature chocolate covered raisins. Is your mouth watering yet?
So anyway, we filled up a baby pool leftover from the wedding (it was for holding beer) and poured in a few capfuls of this magical soap called Vetrolin White n' Brite and coaxed Bill into it. We started by splashing the sudsy bath water all over his back, but quickly realized how bad the situation really was. Holy crap that sheep is disgusting. Do you see the murky water? We resorted to using a five gallon bucket of clean suds instead. He absolutely loved it. Look at that smile! Look at those snow-white sheep in the field!
*The fourth photo from the bottom shows you his dirty half (on the left) and the washed half (on the right). Ridiculous.
**We let the boys dry off and went to put their new coats on and lo and behold, they were too long for their shorn bodies. It turns out they lost a good five or six inches of body length. I was silly and didn't take that into consideration while measuring them. Oops. Good thing I have a sewing machine.
***The lady at our local farm store says that something about the lanolin makes cleaning sheep super easy. Apparently if you try to wash them again too soon after the first time, it's more difficult to get them clean. For us, the coats should mean never having to wash them again. (Except maybe to get the raisins off...) Next spring we plan on shearing and immediately putting the coats on. I'm not too big on using chemical soap anyway.