Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Sheep chores all caught up.

Saturday was catch up day.  My nephew came over and we went out to catch up on the sheep. Nice thing about going out early is they are still locked up in the barn.  We had multiple babies to tag and it was time to band the baby boys.  They were old enough that I should not have had any trouble banding them.  We keep the rubber bands in the house to protect them from the temperature extremes and sunlight.  After last year, we buy a new little bag of 100 bands every year.  We started with tagging all the babies.  We ended up with a couple of babies that had not been written down in the database.  After everyone was tagged we started catching all the little boys to make sure they were banded or neutered already.  No big surprise after we banded a few they were so much slower than everyone else we kept catching them!  We finally had to start separating out all the boys so we could tell who was already banded.  We did find one oops.  One of the first babies had an undescended testicle.  We could feel it under his skin but there was no way to band it as he had been banded before.  We wrote the tag number down so we could keep track of him. 
 
 Our ram did great last year all the babies are his.  He is still a little skittish and won't let us touch him but he is a good breeder and we have been happy with all the babies this year.  We have 28 babies from 20 ewes with 1 ram for a total of approximately 49 sheep.  I have not entered all the tags into the spreadsheet and this count only counts the ewes that have birthed.  I believe we have 3 more ewes that still have not given birth. This sounds like an odd problem to have to not know how many animals you have, but the sheep are very hard to count.  I believe this is where the saying came from about counting sheep when you are trying to go to sleep.  It seems that just when you think you have the count right another sheep pops up or they move around and you have to start all over.  So we are close...
 
After we finished up with the sheep we moved over two ton of hay from the machine shop into the barn.  We feed the sheep and horses from the barn and the cows from the machine shop.  The cows have been going into the machine shop and eating the hay from the side over a concrete wall.  They had eight bales all torn open.  We moved the hay out of reach and filled the cattle feeders.  There is going to be just enough hay to get us through the winter.  I think we will need 15 ton for this next winter.