Let the breeding begin

Gazebo I think we got about 10 inches from the storm, when it was all said and done. It’s really hard to tell, though, because there was so much wind that the snow blew everywhere, in big drifts on the sides of buildings. It sure was nice to take the day off, and only go outside to feed and water the critters. All the sheds held up fine, and the sheep didn’t even huddle in them all the time. All that wool they carry around keeps them warm enough that they often have a couple of inches of snow on them and are fine with that.

Sue, with horn injury I really didn’t like the way Sue was acting this morning. He seemed very sluggish to me, not himself at all. He, George and Miguel have been head bashing a storm lately, and he seems to be taking the brunt of it. His right horn is just a mess — we put blood stop goop on it, but I bet his head is seriously hurting. He is 7 years old now, and I think the boys might be a bit much for him. So I let him out, first in with the pigs until I remembered the all-you-can-eat grain feeder they have. It didn’t take him long to figure out how to work that, so then I just let him wander about. He loved oogling the girls, and then wanted to go into a pen, so I put him in the yard where Sheep Shed 3 is, even though it wasn’t finished.

Putting on the roof It didn’t get out of the 20s today and was windy and there were snow showers all day long, but we got out there and went right back at tackling what feels like an endless list of stuff that still has to get done. Sheep shed three now has a roof, and so is open for business. I set up the loafing yard with cattle panels while Frank put the roof up. Sue has four ewes — Kaytla and Fiona, per usual, and Vinnie and Doppa, two new ones for him this year. All white horned girls, but hopefully carrying something other than white! Give me some girls this year, please, ladies!

Spike and his girls We also put the lambs in their pen for the season, though I’m not sure Spike is up for the job. He isn’t in that great condition, poor lad, with all the parasite and pneumonia he had this summer. I’ve been trying to fatten him up, and he’s healthy now, but he sure didn’t seem very interested in the girls when they got together. He also isn’t smelling all rammy, like the other boys. So who knows what we’ll get from the ewe lambs. He’s got the twin black ewe lambs from June, who I really need to name already, and Lily. I’d love to get more black lambs, so come on Spikey baby. Get with the program!

To keep rams from ramming each other Miguel will go in with his girls tomorrow if all goes well. I’ve got to figure out how to block his shared fence line with Sue. On short runs, I just tie pallets to the cattle panels, and that’s worked well for me in previous years. I’m not sure if I’m going to have to do that on the run between Miguel and Spike, since spike isn’t acting very rammy at all, but I definitely have to do it on a 10 foot run that he and Sue share. Sue is hell on fence lines where there are girls and other rams. He’s never butted either Frank or I, but man is he aggressive with other rams. Once I get that sorted and get Miguel in with his crew, I’ll then put George and Gracie together in the livestock trailer until we get their honeymoon suite set up.

So wow, we’re going to have really late lambs next year. Oh, well. We’ll still have a lot going on in the spring, with our first piglets and all the new fowl I’ve ordered. Maybe there will actually be pasture to lamb on for once. We’ve got to figure out how to fatten the lambs up better, though. When we have them really late, there’s just not much to them when they go to the butcher in the fall, so I’m not sure what we’ll be doing on that front.

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