Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What a Weekend!

In a stroke of luck, the stockyard was open on New Year's Day, and the roads were open enough that our neighbors could finally get their trailer into the barnyard. We took the cull ewes and seven more of the ewe lambs to Grantsville.  This will surely help our hay bale count.

The stars just seemed to align this weekend, and the combination of snow melt, fairly warm and mostly decent weather blessed these shepherdess/s with hours of pretty comfortable outside farm work.  This and the fact that not one single ewe was marked the second time around meant that the breeding was complete and the groups could be moved.

Breeding harnesses came off.  (That Davita... she will snuggle with anything that is not another cat.)

Liam, Aragorn and Poseidon, the three older rams, were crammed and twenty-four hours later moved back to their original pasture.

A brand spanking new, fancy shelter was put together (by Terry) for the goat boys and they were moved to the pine grove paddock via halter and truck.  You have no idea how exciting this is to have them in a virtually, inescapable paddock for the remainder of the winter.   No longer will we be greeted by surprises in the barn when going to feed in the mornings... no tearing down of fencing... no leading the ewe lambs into trouble.  (They only do these things in the winter... maybe they find winter boring.)  Right now there is a lot of noisy complaining but they will adjust, and there are plenty of rocks and fallen trees to amuse them.

The 33 breeding ewes and the ram lamb, Braveheart, are all now in the barn pasture.  Moving lanes were built with temporary fencing and this all went pretty smoothly.  This group of ewes appears to be kind of flighty.  Hopefully they will settle down before lambing.  Speaking of lambing season... there was much excitement around here that everyone appears to have been caught  during the first 17 day cycle... until it sunk in that all 33 ewes will probably lamb within an intense 3 week period.  We will have to start planning for that.

And last, but certainly not least, Betty Lou Moo Moo and Beefcakes were brought over the pasture and through the woods from Madison.  They followed Jonathan and Megan up the hill to about 50 feet away from the fence line.  Surprisingly they came closer and closer by calling "C'mon Betty" "C'mon Beef" (all of our animals seem to equate the word "C'mon" with the word "Food")  and it went pretty smoothly once they were enticed through the open gate with a little grain.  More temporary fence lanes were put up to connect the two gate openings and we had a bale of hay waiting on the other side. Ahhh, success.

There is still a little bit of organizing and housekeeping to do, but all in all, considering last year's winter feeding challenges, we are pretty (pardon our language) damn excited!


  1. Well done! What a challenge, so good for you.
    Love the photos....except the _ _ _.
    Eek! Do you not know about my phobia... I nearly had to close your page before I got to read and see the best of it.
    All pages showing *these* animals ought to have a Government Health Warning: to all those who have a perfectly reasonable and logical aversion to the aforementioned animals, please look away NOW
    ;) x

  2. Oh my, so sorry! We completely forgot about your _ _ _ phobia!

  3. You have no idea how much I love reading your blog. Thankyou so much, and the photos are perfect. I can understand all the hard work but somehow I relax as I work my way through your posts. "C'mon ..." made me think of the film 'Fly Away Home'; I'm sure that was how the geese were called, and come to think of it, my hens react to something similar. All the best for 2011, and happy new year.

  4. Hello from England! I stumbled upon your post while searching for temporary fencing for my company. I stayed to read and must say what a fantastic life you seem to have – although it sounds like really hard work. I bought 20 acres in Derbyshire, England in 2002; changed the pasture to woodland and now I just sit back with a couple of beers watching the trees grow! Enjoy your 3 weeks of lambing! 

  5. Thanks for visiting, 'fencing guy'. Guess you will be enjoying your beer as we are 'enjoying' lambing :)