Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 1 of vacation!

Monday was officially the first day of my vacation and it was nice. It was about 36 degrees when we got up and I'm glad we haven't put in the garden yet.

I started out in the morning after chores, using Trim to move the ewes and lambs up to the big dog yard by the house.  I decided to use the grass I normally have to mow a lot for food instead.  It isn't the best nutrition but better than the field they have eaten down.   We have two yards with secure fencing so it won't upset the dogs at all and now they have something to watch.

It took me quite a while to get Tuija and her 4 lambs to go.  The rest of the flock has fallen into line with the herding dog, Trim, but she still doesn't get it yet.  Basically, while the flock took off on their own outside the fence, loose in the yard, Trim had to work and work just to get Tuija and those lambs out of the field.  I kept one eye on the flock slowly moving toward the road and munching on grass, while the other eye on Trim and helping her push Tuija.  It took about 10 minutes to get her out of the pasture and the rest of the flock had wandered across the 5 acres stretch to the front yard.  We (Trim and I) finally got her and the rest together and into the dog yard.  It's nice tall grass, clover, and a little alfalfa with some leafy trees for shade.  Plus the weather is cooler so they can eat eat eat!   The plan is to leave them there for a month while we seed their other pasture and add fencing to a couple of the others.

"happy flock"
 I guess I shouldn't be too worried about the nutrition level of our pastures as this is Betty (black) and her 12 week old ewe lamb (brown).  That's the kind of size we want!! When babies outgrow moms, that's exactly what we are trying to produce. "I made that"

After that move, I delivered a ewe lamb to a friend and visited her farm and with her family for most of the afternoon.  She gave me some wonderful tomato plants for our garden and some of her delicious homemade sheep cheese!   mmmm.  Horseradish Monteray Jack, Dill cheddar, and Tomato basil cheddar!   Paul has asked me about making cheese so I thought, who better to ask, than an expert!  So, in the future maybe!  Her milking sheep, by the way!!  Is trained!  Ha, the ewe jumps right up on the milking table by voice command!  Nice, as a dog trainer, I am very impressed.  If you knew how 'touchy' this ewe is about being handled, you would see how really impressive the feat truly is!

When I got back home, Paul was close behind.  We got to mowing the grass.  There is a lot of grass here and even the sheep can't keep up.  We moved Hemi out to a pasture to graze for his last couple weeks.  He has been isolated for so long and we be leaving soon.  I would love to keep him but, just can't take the risk.  So, he is out on grass for his last meal.  :(

On a brighter note, I have almost solidified the travel plans for the two new lambs due to arrive on Saturday coming all the way from Washington state.   Mmmmm, a white ram carrying brown recessive and possibly fading.  A big boy!  Also, a gorgeous dark steely grey ewe lamb.  A big girl! Completely unrelated to my flock and with the characteristics I am so looking for to finish off the flock.  I can't wait!!

On to day 2!

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