I had a long to-do list for last Saturday. The 4th Doctor needed shearing and the lambs needed to be weaned, which entailed moving them to a field near where I work.
The first trip, at 9:30 in the morning, was to set up the paddock at work in Cambridge, 35 minutes from the farm. We got this done rapidly, though the pasture had to be carved out of the middle of the field so that the sheep would have a shelter tree. With the portable fencing all set up, we plugged in the charger for a final check. It clicked twice, and then was dead. Crap. We figured maybe we had left it on, and decided to swap the battery.
Knowing we couldn’t fix the fencer right away, we had a moment to run to The Cupboard (Cambridge’s best source for donuts and sandwiches) before heading home to shear the doctor with Phoebe. Purchases in hand, we returned to the parking lot to find the passenger rear tire nearly flat and hissing hard. Crap.
The handy thing about our location was that we were 100 yards from a gas station and 100 yards from an Aubuchon Hardware. So I went to buy a tire patch kit, and Matt rolled the tire to the Free Air device at the gas station. Forty-five minutes and a few perilous crossings of VT Route 15 later, we were back in business.
Thirty-give minutes back to Williston, and patient Phoebe was ready to help us round up the sheep and to shear The 4th Doctor, two hours later than our initial 11:30 meeting time. Getting the sheep in from pasture was entertaining, insofar as Eleanor and Marianne couldn’t figure out how to walk up an embankment and ran back into the paddock to baa and panic for a while. I eventually just left them there.
My initial plan to just tie up The Doctor and shear him upright failed, so Matt, Phoebe and I restrained him in various configurations while I sheared his wool off. The wool is beautiful, but the ram wound up looking a little rag-tag. I’ll do better next time. I’m thinking I’ll home-shear the BFLs but pay for the Cormos, since they have much more wool.
We loaded the lambs, and off they went to Cambridge. We dropped them in the pasture and plugged in the electric fence kit from the sheep at home- the one we knew worked. Some frantic googling and a few phone-calls later, and we realized that the only farm store that might have a replacement power unit was our favorite place, Guy’s Farm and Yard, all the way back in Williston. So back to Williston we went, hoping we’d make it before closing. In we ran, with 15 minutes to pick out a new energizer.
Matt took a half hour to put the fencer back together with the brand new energizer. He added an extra battery for increased storage on rainy days, which we’ve had without break since!
Some weanlings in the field near where I work, taking it hard, as you can see.