Going Green!
May 3, 2017, 10:51 pm
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May 3, 2017

This field is out behind my pig barn. It is where my small sheep flock spent the winter. It was my idea to keep them close, give them shelter and have them work for me all winter. By working, I mean they were eating grass. The grass was under the snow some of the winter. In spring, they kept it in check so as not to get too far ahead of me during the spring flush. I didn’t expect to see the hay growing as fast as it is this year, but man was this ever a good idea.

I make mostly “dry” hay. I need the hot sun to wilt, then cure the hay. The sun and even the dry dirt, sucks the moisture out of the drying grass. When the hay ripens in early June, its not often anymore that we have the drying days needed to make nice hay. Many farmers, including me, have to make baleage or wet wrapped in plastic bales. This makes great livestock feed. It is silage. The problem is, silage should not be fed to horses.

The sheep eating the grasses and clovers has slowed this field down a bit. It is hard to tell however, because the recent rain, hot humid weather and balanced soil is making this hay grow like mad! It is a good problem, but may put the push on once good hay making weather gets here. The sheep are currently in another hayfield knocking it back some. They are up to their necks in lush grass. The ewes are in milk….the baby lambs think they are in heaven. They are growing very, very well!

It is hard to believe that this early in May we have grass this lush, this tall and this beautiful shade of green. I am pleased with my little grassland farm. I’m not fighting the mud. The oats are up. The animals are grazing. The horses and all the livestock are on pasture. It is a wonderful year so far. It’s easy for me to see that going green is truly a wonderful thing!

In Like a Lamb
March 5, 2017, 3:47 pm
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March 5, 2017

Yesterday, the first lamb of 2017 arrived. He is a cute little fellow, born to a first time mom. I am fine with my first timers having a single lamb. They learn to be good mommas and only have one youngster to keep under watch. Some are just natural born mothers and can handle twins or triplets without any problem. Others are rather self centered ladies who can’t understand why the little creatures keep hanging on to her…the latter type get “invited to dinner”, if you know what I mean.

I don’t usually lamb at this time of year. I choose early May instead. This year, however, I have some vacation time to use, so it seemed like a good time for lambing. I like to keep an eye on the flock to make sure all is well. The ability to be close by, pleases me very much.

Our month of March came in like a lion this year. The wind blew and storms rattled the area. Now, some cool but nice days are at hand. The lambs are born with nice warm wool coats. They enjoy the weather. Moms are eating on a big new hay field. They only eat hay on the deepest snow days. They have their choice and they prefer the dormant grasses in the field.

My flock has access to a nice three sided pasture building. They use it on rainy days, but mostly choose to be outside. Last night the temperature dipped to 12 F. The sheep were laying in the grass fast asleep, far from the building. I am sure they know what they are doing. I am glad to offer them a choice. They repay be by keeping  the fence rows clipped, the sugarhouse paddock mowed and my freezer stocked with tender young lamb. It is a very fair deal.

3 Cheers For Spring
March 29, 2016, 12:56 pm
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March 29, 2016

Carmella, one of our ewes had her lambs last night. She had triplets. So far mom and babies are doing great. Momma gets her name from her coloring, caramel and vanilla. I’m original like that…we have had three different black ewes named midnight!

It’s lambing time for us over the next few weeks. I didn’t think we had any due until very early April. I moved the ewes to this pasture for them to lamb in the fresh air and sunshine. They have been in this paddock for about a week. I am glad that I moved them when I did. Obviously, it was a good idea for these little ones. So, does this mean that March is going out like a lamb?

I think my sheep got “Leied”
March 4, 2016, 7:09 pm
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sheep necklace

March 4, 2016

I came out to do chores last night, and there stood one of my ewes with a hay necklace around her neck! I said, “Lamby Pie, is that ewe? Have you been to Hawaii? Where did you get the necklace?” She just stared at me like I was the crazy one. It is the little things that make me chuckle. This crazy sheep made me laugh out loud.

My ewes are near the barn. They share the feedlot at night. They eat their grain and hay, then rest on a straw pile over night. The are content and tame. They are all expecting lambs in about thirty more days. I was hoping that my little rouge ewe hadn’t been up partying all night….Even if she is eating for two or three!

Today, I made repairs to a piece of horse drawn equipment. I ran a few errands and shared a few cups of coffee with friends. I sat next to a wood stove and soaked up some warmth and conversation. I accomplished the task at hand, rested my mind and refreshed my soul. I was a great day…even if I didn’t get a necklace!

Once a shepherd… Always a shepherd
June 16, 2015, 8:20 pm
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4-legged mowers back on the pastures!

4-legged mowers back on the pastures!

June 16, 2015

I just couldn’t stand spring time pastures without spring lambs I guess. No really it all came to me a few days ago. It makes no sense to have to mow the pasture around the back pond and sugarhouse. I have worked a long time to get good forage to grow there. I don’t want the cows or horses punching holes all around the pond edge. Trimming there is simply a sheep job. The grass turns small lambs into tasty meat by summers end. The place looks neat and trimmed to boot!

These ewes are from my old flock. I didn’t have to be too particular for I just want the mowing job done. I have my old black nemesis “Midnight” back. She and I have exchanged many looks and one-sided cuss sessions. I swear a lot and she just eggs me on with a baa-baa, raspberry sound 😮 I also got a couple ewes who only had one baby this year. Lastly, one ewe is here because she had a “bad personality”, what ever that means?

They are not too friendly yet. They managed to hang out long enough by the door to the sugarhouse last night to leave me a landmine…which I of course stepped in first thing. They watched from a nearby hillside with big grins on their faces. I shook my shoe to no avail. The manure made from clover blossoms and orchardgrass apparently has the same bonding ingredient as super glue. I did get it off after a trip through the mud to a nearby stream. Thanks to the sheep I walked in a wet shoe most of the morning! Ahhh yes…and it was my idea!

A Day of Rest
April 20, 2014, 9:25 am
Filed under: April 2014 | Tags: , , , ,
John 3:16

John 3:16

April 20, 2014

Easter Sunday, what a wonderful day! The significance for Christians is unmeasurable as this is the day that Jesus Christ conquered death. Small children look for gifts from the Easter Bunny, but like a sign I recently read said, Silly Wabbit Easter is for God.

The ewes were all sleeping in this morning. They laid quietly, chewing their cud. The sun was warm upon their coats. I’m sure that it felt good, especially after such a long cold winter, to just soak up the warm sunshine.

The week ahead looks long and tiresome, but I will attack it one day at a time. I will sleep well when I lay my tired body down. I will take comfort in knowing that I am healthy and still “hitting on all cylinders”. The work I choose tires me sometimes, but to me it is worth it! 😮