We often hear proverbs, most are about a time we no longer live in. If you were to ask a college or high school age youth what the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” is, they would have no clue. Regardless of when the saying was created, the truth is shares is still relevant today.
The meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” is a reference to mending clothes and especially socks when the hole is created to prevent further damage to the piece of clothing. When this saying came about, people did not have closets full of clothes, they had one set and if doing well, had a working set of clothes and a good set for Sunday and special visits.
As a sheep farmer, repairing or taking care of something when you first see it, will save time and money. Repairing a hole in the fence before it becomes bigger by sheep going through it, saves time and money.
Likewise, keeping an eye on your sheep. When one is not feeling well, take a look at the sheep, and try to figure out why the sheep is not feeling well. If one sheep has a problem, I can guarantee there are other sheep in your flock with the same problem.
In sheep groups on facebook, I see posts about sheep with bottle jaw, and people asking what is wrong and how to treat. The responses are the same, internal parasites are the problem and they need to deworm the sheep. When a sheep has bottle jaw due to internal parasites, the internal parasites are a major problem and killing the sheep. The sheep farmer will now have to use nine stitches to fix the problem.
If the sheep farmer were to be checking the FAMACHA scores (the color of red, pink or white the inner eyelid of the sheep is), the sheep farmer could deworm the sheep with the light pink or white colored inner eyelid, before the internal parasites were so far advanced they are killing the sheep – A Stitch.
It is the first sign that something is wrong with your sheep, that is the best time to treat the sheep for a full recovery.
That is why it is important that the sheep farmer observe their flocks daily. Daily observation gives the sheep farmer knowledge of how individual sheep behave in the flock, and when their behavior changes showing something is not right.