The sheep arrived this morning at 0600. I was awoken by the Commander telling me that he needs help getting the sheep off the truck and into their new barn. While the Commander was carrying a sheep to the barn I found myself inside the truck, hunched over, and trying to put a rope over a sheeps horns so I could get him out of the vehicle. Needless to say I won't be doing that again.
I ended up carrying our only polled little lady, Katydid, to the barn. She was a lot different than carrying my wonderful goats! Katydid was well muscled and was struggling to get away while the goats snuggle up against me. Her wool was really soft against my face and I think she is my favorite.
Jeepers, the only yearling of the bunch, is the leader of the flock. Everyone else follows her lead, even the boys. In the barn they are like a bunch of marbles in a can, rolling around the edges doing whatever they could to stay away from us.
Once we got them safely inside the barn they were treated with fresh hay, cool water, sheep mineral, and baking soda. We were going to take the baking soda out but they seemed to like it and were taking it free choice. The sheep were on the truck for a bit over 5 days, so they had to be happy to have a bit of leg room.
We gave them some time to calm down and then had to get back to work, they needed to be treated for unwanted hitchhikers. I have no idea if they have any pests, but since they were in a transport truck we really had no choice. The folks from Greener Pastures suggested that the best way for us to round them up in the barn was to use a long flat panel to crowd them into a corner. It worked great, we were able to take them one by one for their wormer and spa treatment.
No pictures today as it is raining with thunderstorms so the lighting is terrible. The sheep will be confined to the barn far a few days so they learn to associate it with being home, at that point we will turn them loose into their pasture. If they don't think of the barn as home after that I have no idea how we will ever get them back in. Sara may get a hearty workout. The boys will stay with the ewes for a bit as the stress of separating them from Jeepers may be too much for them this soon at their new home.
I have never worked with sheep before, but I am really happy with the Cascade sheeps size. The were (relatively) easy to handle, yet they felt quite muscular with soft multi-colored wool. I can't wait to see how they work out.
Go Away Drought
21 hours ago
I've had sheep as well as goats. My sheep were calmer, quieter, and mildly curious - as opposed to ravenously curious. Easier to keep contained, and slightly cuddly. :o)ReplyDelete
I'm so glad they arrived, finally! I've never had goats, but it seems to me that they are more like puppy dogs in the guise of livestock! Sheep are less cuddly, but can certainly be tamed. Having both, you'll have the best of each world!ReplyDelete
I'm so pleased to have another fellow breeder, and hope you enjoy them as much as we do!
I forgot to mention that I loved your description of "marbles in a can"... I once heard a description of newly arrived sheep walking around as "a 16 legged unit." I liked that one, too! They'll settle down and spread out once they get used to their new home.ReplyDelete
Using small pastures and alleyways will make putting pastured sheep into a barn much easier. It takes time to build such things, and we didn't have them in the early years, either. Now, I don't know what I'd do without them. : )
Ronda - We have been out several times today just watching them eat, it is very calming somehow. The whole group was still very skittish, but it was interesting to watch Jeepers nudge the most frightened lambs back to the feedstand and take the position closest to us - between her flock and the threat.ReplyDelete
I think everyone out there needs a "Hello My Name Is ...." name tag. It will take me a while to figure out who is who.
Faith - The goats and sheep are definitely different, but hopefully special in their own ways.
I'm sorry, I didn't catch what type of sheep you got? You said Cascade, did you get them from Lyle Behl?ReplyDelete
Terri, We got them from Ronda at Greener Pastures Farm. They are a breed that she developed by crossing Icelandic's and Soay. Smaller than pure Icelandic's, with wool that self sheds, and larger than Soay so that they can be harvested for meat without carrying them over the winter. Their smaller size compared to Icelandic's is supposed to make them easier to handle for newbies.ReplyDelete
I am looking forward to seeing pictures! I have not heard of this cross before. Good luck with your new advertures :)ReplyDelete
They're beautiful! You will love them.ReplyDelete
Would you tell me where I can get some ICELANDIC hatching eggs?THANKS. firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete