Friday, November 2, 2012

Hunkered Down and Buttoned Up

We've done a lot of work in the last couple of weeks.  When you say "Three Day Eventing" most people think of pretty horses, talented riders and exciting action.  Around here it means we hauled sheep manure for three days.

The barn always needs cleaning prior to breeding season and even with the help of steel and hydraulics it takes 3 days to remove and haul summer's build-up.  The good news was that it was cool but mostly dry and the sheep could be shut out on pasture all day without worry.
That was the last pasture the girls are likely to see until next spring.  After another 3 days of handling the whole flock - weighing, deworming, changing coats, sending ewes to different pens to be paired up with certain rams (or to the non-breeding group) - they are now settled into harems and have nothing to do but eat, sleep and wait for the ram's attention.  Here they will stay until November 29th.  Taking the rams out on that day insures that the latest possible lambing date next spring will be a week prior to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival.  That will get all lambs and moms out of jugs and into mixing pens so Andy will have it easy while I'm gone.  HAHAHAHA.
I'm using five rams this year and have paired up all my colored Cotswolds and whites carrying color genes with one ram.  They are really at their prettiest now - nice long fleece with lots of character and not yet too trashy with hay.
Trashy?  I resent that!
Oh, you mean the HAY.  OK, I thought you were making a moral judgement there.
It's not trash, it's "accessorizing" the curls.
Haystems are all the rage.  They go with dark OR light colors.
Although they are nice and comfy inside, the sheep wouldn't really mind it outside even though it has started. to. snow.

Oh, I don't like the cold wet.  DEEP snow is OK for playing but not this kind.
I really, REALLY don't like this kind.
Me neither, Holly, but we'll just have to carry on.


  1. Adorable hay decor on your sheep. May the rams will find it sexy as well ;-)
    This is a fascinating post about how you prepare for this particular season in breeding sheep, and how carefully you have to attend to detail. No wonder your lambs and fleece are so highly prized.