Monday, September 19, 2011
On the Flip Side
Once the number of animals in the “ewe flock” surpasses the number of animals in the “lamb flock”, we flip the farm. Well, sorta…
By the time the ewes outnumber the lambs, it is generally mid- August and time to get serious about breeding for the following season. While breeding, it is a good idea to give those animals the best environment possible.
Our “house/barn/gardens complex” sits about in the middle of the farm. So, we have the “front” and the “back” groups of paddocks. The front paddocks are large, north facing and have a number of trees. In the fall of the year, the grass stays lush out there. (relatively speaking) The back paddocks are smaller, have fewer trees, but are quite secure. The grass gets a little sparse when the heat and drought of summer prevails.
The rotation varies, but this year the lambs were out front most of the summer. As their numbers dwindled, (we are systematically taking them to a “cooler climate”) they were unable to keep up with the grass out front.
When it’s time to pull the old “switcheroo”, it’s always a questionable proposition. Sometimes it’s easy to get all of one group in the barn while we run the other group from their old area, through the barnyard, into their new home. Sometimes it causes a whole lot of fussin’ and cussin’!
This year went without a hitch. HOORAY!
It was my job to get all the lambs in the barn. All the creatures around here follow me willingly anywhere….I am “food lady”!
While in the barn, everyone seemed to have a job.
Squeakie was the supervisor.
Jed checked hearing.
Ellie checked respiratory issues.
The wether lambs worked on male dominance.
Jessie took the opportunity to do a pedicure.
Ginny practiced her modeling poses.
The Boss changed all the gates around to funnel the ewes and Waylon out front. I called “SHEEP!” banged my bucket, and got out of the way. Here they come!
There they go!
Then we took the lambs out back. This was slightly more difficult, as they are lambs and have the brain power of rocks at times.
Finally, everyone was shifted around. Then the rains came and the lambs have lovely lush grass, and all is right with the world once more.