Tuesday, December 8, 2009

OK, so I am truly excited about fiber sheep. My small flock of Southdown seem like the perfect starter herd to explore this with but dang they are worse than goats when it comes to floating through fences. I’m telling you it’s crazy. Luckily there is no danger nor are they a danger to others (except if they manage to find the garden) but they are breaking out of my grazing routine and its really making me mad. I NEED CONTROL!! AH, HA, HA,HA!

They don’t seem to even care about the other animals they just do their own thing and wonder away from the herd. They do come back, right around dinner time to grub on alfalfa so at least I know their number. I just expect this kind of behavior from the goats not from the sheep. So they really have me confused. Now I’ve got a new flock of Katahden that are waiting to go in with the other hair sheep and they seem to be interested in the other hair sheep, but not the woolies or the goats. Is it possible they recognize each other to be the cut from the same pie? Pascal the Llama definitely has been keeping a curious eye on them and has shown no interest what so ever in the woolies.

About the fence. OK not many will disagree that woven wire field fence with a strand of barbed wire at the top is the way to go with goats. From my experience sheep can do fine on barbed wire fences and be pretty content to roam in side of said fence. Why don’t I have the woven wire fence? Only because a fence of 6 strings is already in place. If I add another strand I’ll be fine. Let me also say that the goats have been fine, and they up until now have been my fence testers. Let me also mention that the area I’m trying to keep everyone in is a beautiful 10 acre holler, a gorgeous valley between a fenced 85 acres and 230 acres. It has tones of good forage and grasses, lots of good things to eat and a nice clean pond to drink from. The goats have figured out that this is a pretty great place and I’m sorry but if the woolies think they can do better well, they’re in for a big surprise.

A reader commented on the last post that fences were her life. Yea I’m getting the feeling I’ll be spending a lot more time this winter stringing wire and pulling woven wire fences. I have looked into electric but another friend told me that woolies are insulated and can withstand the shock. I’m gonna have to do more investigating on the subject. Any insight would be helpful out there.

Oh I forgot one of the new sheep lambed. Just before they arrived to me, a beautiful baby girl, solid black except for a little white tip on her tail. All the new Katahden’s are bred and of course I have no idea when so I am hoping they either lamb now or wait till spring. But either way it’s exciting. I haven’t taken any pictures of the little one yet but will have a chance probably tomorrow.

I’m so busy right now with catering and working at wellness center and just keeping things together at the farm. December is like this but I will be traveling to Seattle to spend Christmas with my family. I’m trying to plan some fun things to do like visit a few dairies and maybe travel to the San Juan islands for the day or maybe cross country skiing, anything that will take me out of the house waiting for my sister to join me for a cup of coffee. This will be my second Christmas without her. I wonder if I’ll ever stop counting.
Off to the milk barn.

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