Saturday, September 8, 2012

another love story

Flynn the sheep guardian

Now that we're entering into Fall it's time to start thinking about lambs. The ewes have had a fantastic Summer! We did things a little differently this Summer and the girls benefited well from the change. Even though the temporary net fencing is a pain to move around all the time - the poles also break after awhile and the netting gets torn. It's pretty high maintenance but it does work beautifully for temporary pastures. We purchased our fencing from Premier 1 and every 2-3 wks this Summer, the girls' paddock was picked up and moved. We rotated continuously and they did very well without shelters. If the girls are in a paddock that has a shelter, they tend to camp out in it which in a hot, damp climate it seemed to be doing them more harm than good. With a few shade trees and at one point we even moved the cattle trailer in for some extra shade, the girls only used the shade during the hottest times of the day - the rest of the time they grazed or sunbathed. And we have been completely impressed with their fecal counts and high immunity. No one has needed deworming or any other type of treatment over the Summer. A definite success!

 So we're entering into our breeding season this Fall with fat, healthy ewes - which makes the Shepherdess very happy :) Our 2 rams this year are Apollo and Gemini. This is our 2nd year using Apollo, his dam and sisters are heavy milkers so we are hopeful he will continue to add lots of creamy, delicious milk to the flock. He's also a small, snow white ram so he's easy on the girls but in no way is he passive. When Apollo is sent in to get a job done, we consider it done :) Gemini was born here this Spring, so he's brand new to this and is very gentle and shy. He's a lovely little spotted boy. His dam is the matriarch of the flock, so his future lambs will be carrying on her legacy as well. There's always a story behind every flock and in 5 short months the lambs will be here and there will be another chapter to add to the love story. Beautiful isn't it :)

the girls waiting for us to send in the boys
Gemini the ram lamb with his ladies

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