Saturday, June 20, 2015
Believe it or not it didn't rain here today. There was this big shiny, bright ball up in the air and the sky was blue. Who knew the sky could be anything but gray? I was actually kinda frightened when I first saw it this morning and it made my eyes hurt. There was a nice hot, dry Southerly wind blowing as well and before the day was over there were actually dry spots here and there.
I was able to get about half the tangled over grown mess we call a yard mowed and weed whacked. I also got all the fallen limbs hauled out of the yard and cut up. It made almost two full wheel barrow loads of firewood too.
Mrs. PP was up and down in small bites all day. Since our bedroom is up some pretty steep stairs I have her set up on the couch in the living room so she can rest or get to the computer as she wishes. She even ventured outside a time or two to watch the sheep and enjoy the sunshine. I am still pulling double duty of course but just having her at home means I can begin to get some things caught up once again. She is doing so extremely well that I sometimes forget how serious her illness and operation was frankly.
The sheep have eaten their two small pastures pretty much down to nothing now. As I stated before my original plan was to have the third pasture fenced in by this time but the weather just refuses to cooperate so today I made an executive decision.
Obviously this is going to be another good hay year around here. That is if it stops raining soon and the locals can get their hay in which I am betting will happen. July is always a drier month for us. Last year was such a good year I am still able to buy the large sized round bales at 20 bucks a pop and I figure that is going to continue through out this next Winter so I let the flock out into the hay field.
I seriously doubt the ewes and lambs will make much of a dent in it anyway. Even after it is cut the entire flock rarely gets more than 50 yards out into it and as it stands now it's literally a wall of vegetation standing there. The part closest to the barn is also pretty weed choked as until this year it had a lot of old broken farm equipment out there so it was never cut. The sheep prefer the broadleaf weeds anyway since they are Forb eaters. So I turned em out in there rather than feeding them dry hay. I figure I can either feed em hay now or later so might as well make it later. It's a bit of a gamble but I think the odds are in my favor with all this rain.
Of course as with everything on a small farm there are always unforeseen complications.
One of the lambs. In fact the first lamb born this season and my lucky Black Ewe Baby named Patch, got a bit too far out in the high weeds and got separated from the flock. When I did the afternoon head count I kept coming up one lamb short then I heard her bellowing at the top of her lungs. I guess she forgot where the gate was.
After going out and finding her I got her into the short grass area I cut along the fence and showed her the way to the gate so she could go into the barn and cool off with the others. She was so glad to see me she actually came up and wanted some ear scratching which is the first time this little girl has come up being that friendly. Normally she has been rather shy around me.
You can see why I named her Patch as she has that light colored white spot right above her rump.
I think all the lambs are now large enough that no predators will mess with them but we will see how this works it's way out. As long as they stay within 30 yards or so of the gate they won't be out in the main hayfield we cut anyway and the area is open enough I doubt the coyotes would attempt a daylight raid. The lambs are certainly too large for eagles to come after now I am sure.
My hope is this will solve my forage problem until I can once again get out there and work ont he fence project.
You can see in this picture how this entire section of the hayfield is filled with leafy weeds. It's almost completely covered that hay ring I have setting there. The girls and youngins should have some good forage off this area for a few weeks at least.
That's the plan anyway.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!