Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's done!

Blackberry Winter

Breeding group 'two' is now set up, and barring any unforeseen circumstances (like mass escape) that chore is done for the year. I haven't weaned lambs for the last three or four years, since all my girls seem to hold condition well. (read fat) Eventually they cut down on the feedings so that the lambs are virtually weaned except for a little 'comfort meal' here and there.

I guess I've never had this many lambs still here at breeding season. This year there are seven. Seven screaming voices. All day, all night. I made the mistake of removing one mom yesterday and then the rest today, so I'm prolonging the noise longer than I could have. You would think that I have ruthlessly weaned two week old babies, rather than six month old weanlings by the noise. My head hurts.

So this morning went smoother than I expected. The Shetlands all came in for feeding and got trapped. I wormed and trimmed hooves on the last four for the group. Then started sorting off the lambs. Since I usually do this sort of stuff alone, I had to think of something (short of catching and wrestling each lamb through the fence each time). I came up with a short cattle panel wired into the corner to form a triangle (have I mentioned I love cattle panels?), and used snaps to close it. The outer corner of the fence also had two snaps holding it closed. I would push in two or three lambs, close and latch the triangle piece, and then reach through and open the outside corner. This also prevented some certain sheep (Rouen, Duckie) from making a mad dash towards a weak spot and escaping. Although I could feel 'em watching me the whole time, just waiting, waiting for that split second of inattention. Once I got all the lambs out, then I tricked Hope (merino/dorset) and caught her, and pulled her in by a halter. Then it was all down hill--in a good way-- from there. I opened up the panels into the pasture with Griffen and the three girls. Of course much mayhem ensued, with chasing and fighting. They seem quiet now. For the moment.

After I shooed all the lambs out I dismantled the catch pen and set up a 'no-ram's land' section and finished out their night pen. So glad that is all done.

I wanted to take some pictures of the girls for the post on the breeding groups. I attempted to do that yesterday before sorting them out today. Well, evidently me 'stealing' five members of the flock within two days had made an negative impression on them. I thought I would share some of the pictures I got with you. I was not amused.

They did finally settle down a tad, but in the breeding group post--if they look rather alert and suspicious, now you know why!

Off to wash windows! She will never catch us now! Sheep-napper!

1 comment:

Tina T-P said...

Oh, your stories made us laugh - I read the part about the screaming lambs aloud to John - this year our little ram's sister is the one who got separated from her mommy - hue and cry! And the problem is that the two of them talk across the place - Scooter is out back and Luna is out front - but they sure have some conversations. :-) Mean ole' shepherd...

Have a great vacation. T.