Saturday, April 15, 2017

Sheep sorted again

AnnMarie found a lamb scrunched down beside a gate curled up into a ball. It was trapped earlier in the week. She pulled out this very tiny solid black lamb and as soon as it was unstuck a momma ewe ran over and started cleaning it up!  She penned the momma and new lamb into our momma area and then moved the sheep into the ram pasture. Unfortunately, the ram pasture is not secure. We have yet to lower the panels over the back creek. I am unsure that the spring runoff flood has passed. The minute I lower and clip the panels in place over the runoff creek I place all my fencing at risk. Mother Nature can be a cruel and beautiful mistress. One with an explosive and unpredictable temper. I am going to try and avoid that confrontation. 
So all 28 boys that we had just sorted out on Sunday of last week just waltzed in under the fence and comingled with our momma & baby herd. 

 
So on a Saturday we sorted again. It was much easier this time to dig out the channels that had fresh straw in them. The sheep did not cooperate so I tried the sheep crook. We have owned one for the last year but never used it as an actual crook. It was just a tall stick. I started snagging the sheep by the neck and grabbing them. It worked great!  I did it several times and was feeling pretty cocky when one of the boys jumped back into the female pen and ran outside to commingle with the ewes. I ran around outside for ten minutes trying to catch that boy amongst all the other sheep. No luck, AnnMarie finally hollered at me to come help sort again. We got everyone sorted and have kept the mommas and babies in the back barn lot. They ate down the entire front yard hillside. It needs to turn green again and grow before I can turn the sheep loose again. This is giving the upper prime pasture a fresh chance as there are no animals on it. My new little trees got the tops bitten off by all the sheep. I need to get T posts in the ground and sheep fence around the trees. 
We have started feeding the mommas three bales of hay a day in order to keep up with their consumption. We talked about letting the fence down over the back creek the next day but two days later there was a deluge and a sudden rise in the back creek. That would have been bad for my fence. It is still raining every 3-4 days.