Saturday, June 29, 2013

Counting sheep

I am constantly counting my sheep. When I leave, when I come home, in the mornings, in the evenings.I just need to know they are all here. And together. Sometimes there might be 1 or 2 off by themselves, under a tree or in the barn. I go check on them to make sure they are ok. And I am listening to the sound of their bleats too. I can tell a distress call or a lamb wanting it's mother. Or a sheep's head stuck in a fence. Or even if a lamb has gotten out somehow. That's a frantic call for help! But a shepherd needs to know all these different calls and cries. So I am constantly checking on them during the day.

So far, they are all healthy and doing well. I am rotating pastures about every 3 weeks now. And mowing the pasture they just left a few days after. Plus I have 2 chicken tractors full of meat birds that are in their pasture, moving them all over, eating the sheep poop. That will help a lot. I have not had to worm them since they all had their lambs.

Speaking of lambs, they are all so big now. Even little Buttercup that was born a month ago, is growing so fast. And she's so sweet. But my little Bonnie Belle is still the sweetest of them all. She still comes to me and lets me pet her and love on her. She's just the sweetest little lamb.

I have 17 sheep now.  8 grown ewes, 8 lambs and a ram. I'll be taking the 3 wethered ram lambs to the butcher in the fall. They are growing really fast. I am curious to see if these will be bigger than the rams I had butchered last fall that weren't castrated. Those 2 were mostly hair sheep. 2 of this year's lambs are wool and one is hair. I'll see which are more meatier too. I castrated these guys so they could stay with the flock because I really don't have all that much room to keep rams separated. And they are all happy this way. Together, as sheep should be.

They are not getting any grain or hay right now, since there is so much grass for them to eat. Almost too much actually. But I am giving them kelp and minerals from the sea. I love how it all smells. Just like the ocean. And they love this stuff. I feel like it is making them much more healthy and is keeping their red blood cell count higher. And I was so pleased to see, after the last 2 ewes were sheared last week, the overall condition of their bodies. I was a little bit worried they might be a bit skinny under all that wool.  But they weren't! So, I am happy to see healthy, happy sheep at this time of year. Hopefully, this will carry into the fall and winter. I hope to be getting 2nd cut hay soon too. I'll be getting a better quality hay for them for winter.

And that's all for now. Just a little update on my sheep here at Outback Farm.


Sandra said...

Counting Sheep :)
We do a pasture check every day. I love this time of year when they have all the grass they need and we just have to water and put out salt and minerals.
I am planning on worming this week, we have had so much rain it makes me a little nervous.

Kris said...

Yes, all the rain makes me nervous too.We had such a wet winter and that causes things to happen. So far, so good for mine. I hope all yours are well.