Sheep go a’courtin’!

Cold and windy, but the rams needed to be out with the ewes this week and today was the best opportunity.  Dallas took my pickup to the seed plant and hooked on to the little trailer, then back down home for lunch, after which we drove to the Lamme farm to walk in then load the three rams – 1 horned Merino and 2 Dorsets.  They loaded without hesitation, then off to Tannachton Farm north and west of Purdin.  We unloaded the rams into the corral, then walked out to muster then ewes.

As we crossed the ditch and saw fence down we knew something was amiss and truly it was.  For whatever reason one of the older ewes was caught up in the electrified sheep netting and couldn’t move – really bad deal.  Dallas hurried back to turn off the electricity, then unwrapped her.  Thankfully, she is still alive and I hope she makes it.

Ewe caught in electric sheep netting.  We went back after sorting and helped her sit up again and I gave her a pep talk.  Hope she comes 'round!
Ewe caught in electric sheep netting. We went back after sorting and helped her sit up again and I gave her a pep talk. Hope she comes ’round!

The ewes and lambs would NOT cross the ditch to get to the corral and after 45 minutes or so of using our best ‘Bud Williams‘ techniques, I walked back to gather another sheep netting.  We set it up behind and around the sheep and kept moving it forward until they finally relented and joyfully bound down the slope and up towards the corral.  Oh, they can be SO frustratingly stubborn if it suits them.  Once across, they dutifully walked up to and into the corral – especially excited by the three rams inside!

Now to sort – well it mostly went okay for not having suitable sheep sorting facilities.  The reason for sorting is that there were several ewe lambs which i did not want to get bred (pregnant), so I wanted to sort them off and haul them home.  They can’t stay anywhere near the rams or absolutely everyone of them will breed.  Sheep are very fertile.  Pretty sure all the rams need to do is look at a ewe and she’ll get bred!

Too dark to unload the ewe lambs where I wanted them, so we offloaded into the corral at our house. Early in the morning, I’ll make the necessary chores to move them where they need to be.  All told, Dallas and I spent five hours on this project and still not done!

Dallas fed his grandpa’s pup and collected eggs.  SIX tonight.  Quite the improvement from getting 2 every other day just a few days ago.  We had picked up some alfalfa pellets and sunflowers to see if the higher protein would help with production.  Guess so!  Hooray!

Once inside, I had time to finish a couple loads of laundry, prepare and cook four cherry cobblers, make ranch dressing,  40 cups of rice, and ramped up the ingredient amounts for the chicken-rice casserole recipe so that it will serve 60 people at Refuge Ministries tomorrow evening.  The chicken has already been cooked and cubed and is sitting out to thaw along with cooked pumpkin.  Nathan says he’ll make the Pumpkin bread loaves for me tomorrow since my chores may run me close on getting the chicken-rice-vegetable casserole done before we leave.  Allen and Nathan vacuumed the main floor and upstairs for me tonight!  That was really a huge help!

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2 thoughts on “Sheep go a’courtin’!”

    1. Thanks, but it was wearing me out, too! Sold all the sheep last fall – feel like i’ve been on holiday since! Lot of catching up to do since they consumed all my time. Have made some changes in my operation and have a farmer friend renting 120 acres involved with a long term pasture improvement with use of row crop/cover crops, then back to pasture after 4 yours. It’s the way we farmed for millennia, but was put aside with modern chemicals and synthetic fertilisers in the 20th century. After Tuesday’s calf working, preg checking, and culling cows, i’ll be down to about 130 cows, thereby freeing up time for more travel next year if Yah allows. But i’ll still be busy with caring for aging family members, keeping the home, and helping my husband with his 500 plus cows. Age is catching up with me!

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