- Aug 3, 2008
- Reaction score
- mountains of WV
I sure do. When we bought our first sheep, we followed directions to the ranch. As we came around a bend in the road, there was a magazine picture worthy beautiful ranch. White pipe fence, green lush pastures, a winding lake with 2 brick homes on the shores, black Angus cattle, it was gorgeous. Slack jawed, we could only admire....... thinking about our raw land, barely fenced with no amenities, I told BJ, "Those sheep are going to be so pissed off when they get to our place."
That's probably what these lambs felt like too....no views, no lovely breezes and big 360* skies to look at, no huge fields and nice old barns.
These lambs have been quite enterprising...taken off their moms on the day we bought them, they have found a way to get their milk anyway. Some have taken to stealing milk from our ewes and doing it quite successfully, I might add.
One has injured a leg from getting wrapped up in Charlie's tether...nothing serious but definitely will be sore for awhile. So, no more tethering for Charlie, which means she's roaming at will out of the high tensile. We tried a drag~chain and front lawn mower tire~to no avail. She comes under the fencing anyway. No amount of me returning her to the fence, scolding or anything else has stopped this behavior...she's just a hard headed, stubborn dog....at 4 mo. of age. Imagine how hard she will be to control when she's older.
So, this evening Eli(my son) caught her coming out of the fencing and punished her for it. She thinks the sun rises and sets in Eli and that was the very first time I've seen her voluntarily go right back into the fencing. I've punished her for it and she just lays down and acts all sorry, but no stopping of the behavior and no returning to her rightful place. We were quite pleased to see her correct her behavior in this way and I'm hoping that will continue....guess I just haven't been hard enough on her, though I'm a more strict disciplinarian than most.
We are in a drought with high temps and low humidity right now and for the foreseeable future, so are trying to manage what little food we have in these paddocks to the greatest effect. Right now we are seeing a lot of good forage in the brush paddocks, plus they have more shade while eating and also seem less bothered by the flies while working the brush. The brush is less affected by the drought, so we are using it more and giving the grass a good rest.
Will be building our sorting pens soon and it can't happen too soon for me....I really need to castrate some sheep and apply ram aprons to others. Also want to put collars on all that are staying for the winter, with their ID numbers/name tags also. We are separating the ewes into two color groups, red and blue, with their chosen rams with the designated color for each group. This year, with numbers so small, we can get by with running the rams in with the ewes, aprons applied, but next season we'll have to establish a whole separate grazing pod of rams and ram lambs in this system.
This next season, Lord willing, we'll be breeding the Texel/Kat ram over the Kat ewes, the Kat ram over the Texel/Kat ewe lambs and a single Kat ram lamb over a Kat ewe lamb, just to give that spare ram a breeding opportunity. Should be fun seeing what pops out come spring!