Out to Pasture

*bang bang*

My eyes open.  Matt says, “Someone is at the door, I think?”

My phone says it’s 5am.  It can’t be anything good.

*bang bang*  Definitely someone here.

I’m bleary-eyed and quasi-dressed when my neighbor at the door tells me that our sheep are out and she’s worried they’ll be hit in the road.  I thank her and she’s off on her commute again.

Time to get up!

I had set up most of the fencing for a starting pasture.  The ewes noticed the fencing coming out and baaed incessantly as I worked.  It was probably seeing the fencing that prompted them to somehow unchain their gate (I am still not sure how this was accomplished without thumbs – I am baffled).  Matt gathered the ewes farthest afield, and soon we had them all in the fenced area.

But the lambs had never left the barn before and had no experience with electronet fence or following their mother outside of an enclosed space.  Many were still in the barn, calling for Mom but afraid to go out.  We realized many years ago that acting as a herd is a skill sheep learn.  They have a basic instinct for it, but still have to learn the particulars.  So as we chased the lambs, they scattered.

We lured the lambs into the creep and then shut them in.  One by one, we caught the stragglers and then hand-carried each lamb from the creep in the barn to the pasture in front of the house.  Carrying heavy, struggling lambs exhausted us both.  An hour after the knock on the door, though, all of our sheep were neatly in pasture, eating up a storm.

Lambs under a shade tree

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