Posted on

Summer Goes On

The days are slightly shorter as July passes into August.  The grass is growing more slowly now, but the sheep don’t seem to mind as the ewes regain weight and the lambs slowly grow up.

Our fence-diving ewe lamb left on the trailer with other lambs who had reached finished size.   We still have one escaper, but the lambs are away from the road and I no longer worry about this all of the time.  In fact, we’ve really cut down on the number of sheep break-outs.  The lambs are in an area with plenty of shade and interesting terrain to explore.

We have sold all of the BFL ewe lambs we intend to sell this year.   We have two handsome ram lambs who would be great choices for BFL flocks.

The ewes have been feeling sedate lately.  This is their “me time”, in a way- no lambs to look after, not pregnant, just eating and sleeping and socializing.  All of the ewes that I have worried about all year have stabilized – Eilis looks well, 107 who had grown rather thin is plumping back up, our oldest ewes K and J are still thriving.  I am so grateful for their health and wellbeing.

I have a few interesting items in the works:

  • We are making dog treats from all of our unsold lamb liver.  Stay tuned for more liver treats.
  • Our first batch of lambs will come back soon.  If you would like a lamb box, let me know – I can deliver anywhere in Vermont as long as you don’t mind me coming on my schedule.
  • My BFL yarn is ready – stay tuned for more yarn online!
  • We will have lots of pelts this year and next.  Pelts are a great gift, but spoiling yourself a little is important, too.
  • We offer farm tours!  If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to visit, now is the time.  We would love to have you.

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Lamb Frustration

This year, I have a few naughty lambs.

Border Leicester #125, who is a really pretty ewe lamb, and her sidekick Border Leicester #151 persistently wiggle their way out of our electric fencing.  Sometimes, Border Leicester #122 joins in.

For a while, it really was my fault.  We only had a 1 joule charger on a large amount of fence, and the charge simply wasn’t hot enough.  Worse, we were using some old, slightly droopy netting that was easy for lambs to slip beneath.  I could watch them slide their little Roman noses under the wires and then shuffle under, awkwardly.  Sometimes, a lamb would inadvertently pull the fence out of the ground while shimmying, releasing the rest of the flock.  Having your sheep at-large will ruin your reputation in the neighborhood pretty quickly.  We needed to take action.

Then the arms race began.  We bought a hotter charger with twice as much power.  Still, 125 and 151 would sneak out.  We stopped using the older fence and even bought $600 worth of new fence.  Still, 125 and 151 were out-of-bounds somehow.

So at weaning, I went nuclear.  We are fortunate to have a neighbor’s hard-fenced horse-pasture available.  We tightened up that fence and then deposited the weaned lambs in there.  After a hard day of lamb separation, we were keen to prevent the lambs from escaping and running off to find their mothers.  Every possible escape-route was blocked and bolstered.

Yet still, this morning, the lambs are loose.  They knocked down some of the fencing in the process of escaping – fortunately, the main group of lambs was well-behaved and did not try to escape.

So our new policy is that those lambs are just “out”.  They are out, at risk of being eaten by coyotes, but they are not putting the main flock at risk.  They’ll also be on the first trailer out of here.  I am so, so frustrated at being outsmarted by two five-month-old lambs!  Unbelievable.

Some images of our at-large delegation:

 

20190701_102922
They are quite a ways from home, so I drive if I am carrying something large.
20190701_103435
Good lambs to the left, naughties to the right.
20190701_102612
Trying not to show their faces.