Sunday, March 20, 2016

Babies all caught up.

How many sheep are there?
Today was livestock day.  I picked up my nephew first thing and we discussed a plan.  The sheep and cows all needed to be tagged and banded. The trick is what order to do them in.  We decided on cows first.  I had purchased a 30 foot leash for working Mouse as he is not to be trusted.  It took two tries to get the cows into the barn lot.  The first time they turned and ran and Zeke could not get them to turn.  Mouse wanted to tear off but he was on the leash.  The second time they ran into the barn lot. From there it was just a matter of getting them into the corral and sorting them.  The corral is so cool, you just keep pushing them one way or the other and their are enough pens that they are easy to sort.  The oldest calf sorted herself into one of the square pens.  I told my nephew that it was going to be a tough takedown.  Don't treat it like a baby cow, but an adult man who fights back.  He didn't believe me.  After a few attempts at grabbing it I had to wade in and throw myself onto the calf.  He had a leg and scooted up and held it down while I put a tag in its ear.  The second calf was also another little girl.  Luckily this one was about 30 pounds lighter which makes a huge difference in the take down and holding difficulty level.  I had mouse tied inside an adjacent pen.  He got super excited when the calf started bawling.  I had to stop and make him lay down 20 times during the calf ear tagging experience.  He wanted to help. 

The sheep where next.  Using the leash was very nice.  I didn't have to run or scream a lot.  Mouse was able to work on staying close.  Whenever he started pulling on the leash I would pull back.  By the end of getting the sheep he had quit pulling on leash so much.  We had to run the sheep in twice.  The first time they snuck out of the pen by the creek.  The goal was to touch every sheep so we could get an accurate count.  I was sure we had around 70 sheep.  I used my AnyList app on my phone to log each sheep and take its picture!  That way no one gets missed and we can correlate their number to an actual sheep.  There were a lot of little boys who we had not banded.  There were so many that I ran out of rubber bands and had to have Annmarie pick some up at the store.  It took us almost three hours to sort and band and tag everyone.  There are 88 sheep!!  That is a whole lot and way more than I anticipated.  I am going to have to see how many potential buyers I can get lined up.  If we sell to West then he will want 50 animals.  That will drop us right down to our holding ewes.  I would rather sell locally if at all possible.  I need to find out what the cut and wrap guy is charging now and then get a price set and email everyone.  If I get enough takers then I can probably stay local. 

We were able to get a fence gate and five panels for rock cribs up onto the hillside.  I am hoping to get the field up on the back hillside fenced off for animal use this summer.

There are 84 sheep in the above picture.  I realize it doesn't look that way.  This is why I can never be sure exactly how many animals we have at any one point in time.  We had a set of triplets born yesterday. I have them in the baby area in the barn.  They are going to stay isolated from everyone for a few days.  They are super friendly and calm..
Mouse working the sheep under direction

How I would feel after someone put a rubber band around my testicles.