Thursday, May 3, 2012

Sheep sorting completed

Rooster with the pliable hens.
Every year I say that the sheep are not going to be let into the yard and every year the lawn gets out of control and we let the sheep eat it down.  This year is no different.  I have boycotted mowing the lawn and Sarah always has a reason there is not enough time to mow.  The lawn is over a foot tall and even our mower cannot get through it.  It rains every 2-3 days and simply does not dry out enough for the mower to make a go of it.  I chased the sheep in the yard in an attempt to shorten the grass.  It usually takes about a week for them to eat the whole thing down.  This process is very rough on my roses.  The sheep love roses.

Sarah and I tried to catch the two whethers (neutered male sheep) while everyone was in the front yard, but the sheep just kept running in circles around the house.  We spent 30 minutes chasing the sheep.  Zeke attempted to help, but in the end most of the time was spent teaching the dog to stay and not jump on the sheep when they got close to him.  In the end we had to chase all the sheep over to the barn and into our square pen.  Once there we verified all the ear tag numbers again as one baby and one ewe had ripped out ear tags again.  The baby boy was retagged in the other ear.  The ewe has ripped out tags out of both ears now.  So she cannot have any more tags. I documented her color so we can identify her.  Once the two wethers were isolated we chased them into the barn so I could weigh them.  Did not happen.  A 90 pound animal leaping four feet off the ground at breakneck speed is not easy to catch.  We gave up after 15 attempts.

This has led me to reconsider the sorting chute I was going to build outside the barn.  I think it is going to have to go into the barn and the scale is going to have to be built in.  Otherwise I am not going to be able to get a weight.  So I need to make some jugs (creches for newborns and moms) and now a sorting chute inside the barn.  Starting to get crowded inside.  Still trying to decide if we need a ramp off the back of the barn.  More decisions to make.  After I get the barn leveled, I am going to have to stop work on the barn to get some more fencing completed.  I need to fix all the fence I burned up and fix the gate that goes into the CRP so the sheep cannot get into the CRP.

The farm with the Dexter cattle called yesterday and will hold three heifers and a young bull for us.  I just need to find a 2 horse trailer.  I keep trying to rent one, but not having any luck.  Two different people offered trailers but they are 5th wheel setups and I cannot tow a 5th wheel.  I need to get these animals picked up so I need to find a trailer.

I counted the chickens last night, only 25 hens and 1 rooster.  We lost two hens last month, one just died in the coop and one disappeared.  Now the magical vanishing chicken may reappear as it could be sleeping out in the barn.  I had to lock the chickens up in the chicken yard for a few days.  This is going to throw off my feed consumption but the chickens were hiding their eggs so well I could not find them.  Hopefully, a few days in the coop will get them back in the habit of laying in the man made nests.  

Our rooster, an Easter Egger.