Thursday, August 27, 2015

Today Was Sheep Adventure Day

For two years now I been letting the flock out into the hay field either after it was cut or this year just to try and stem the tide of the BarberPole worm life cycle. The flock would wander maybe a little bit over half way to the far end of the place and then get scared and come running back. A loud truck or tractor was all they needed to incite the panic run. I thought I was pretty safe that they would never test the triple strand barbed wire I have on the back end.

I was wrong.

The entire flock, minus the two rams of course, all 44 of them decided to go visit the neighbors yard this morning. Sheep love close cropped green grass. They simply cannot resist it's call and apparently the bottom strand of that barbed wire is just high enough for them to squeeze under.

The neighbors were quite delighted by the visit honestly and remarked over and over about how friendly the girls were. Luckily those neighbors are not big on ornamental plants and have their garden well away from the fence line or they might have been a bit more pissy about the visit.

By the time my son got down there using the road as I was coming up through the field the entire flock figured out how far they actually were from the safety of the barn and had started the panic run back. Looks like we are going to run field wire down on the back now I guess. So in preparation of having the flock locked up on the smaller field for a few days I moved the garden fence this afternoon and opened up another half acre of failed Buckwheat and other assorted grass and weeds to the girls. That ought to keep em happy and busy for at least two days and will have the area nice and clean for a Fall tilling too.

Was pretty much a non-eventful day for the chickens. The new Barred Rock hens seem to have fit in fine and didn't really challenge the current hen leader although they seem to have fit in right below her. The other three black hens are old enough I don't think they care anyway. Littlebit continued her far ranging travels and was seen pretty much everywhere around the barn from time to time. None of the other hens seem to be aware that they can come and go through the gate as they want yet. Nevermind that they stand there and watch Littlebit and Rocky (Who is the largest of the flock) do it, for some reason they are convinced they cannot get through.

Still only getting one egg a day though. I am convinced only three of the hens, the two reds and one black, are even laying now. The other three blacks because they are too old and the rest because they are too young I imagine. Oh well still more eggs than we eat right now anyway.

We also said goodbye to Goatygoat this afternoon. I remembered that one of the guys I work with had a baby goat with him at work a couple months back and mentioned it was a pygmy bottle baby. He came out and looked at her and said he was sure she was a pygmy just like his and would be pleased to take her and keep her as a breeding doe.

When I let her off the tie out she immediately jumped up on his truck and hopped around. I told him he was going to have his hands full since she was raised as a pet.

Mrs. PP called like five times today trying to talk me out of giving Goatygoat away. I admit I was already quite attached to her but she really needs her own kind. Sure it was all fun and nice the last week with temperatures in the mid 70's , low humidity and no rain playing outside with the goat but these bluebird days are not gonna last forever and it wouldn't be fair to run the little girl with the sheep for the rest of her life.

So Goatygoat is gone now. I will miss her a bit cause as I said she was a hoot to hang out with while I was working around the place. I let her eat one of Mrs. PP's flower beds this afternoon so she would remember her for a while too.

I am thoughtful like that.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. If you have some dry cat food throw a handful or two to your hens. They should scarf it up and it gives them a jump start on protein to increase their egg production. Sounds crazy but Jackie Clay suggested it and it works for us. Knew you all would love your chickens. Peg in Florida

    1. Peg - I had actually read that and keep meaning to try it but keep forgetting. Thanks for the reminder I will do it tomorrow morning!!!!

  2. How lovely your sheep helping out next door with grass cutting and they did it without being asked, I think you made the right decision over the goat its just not the right one for you, I hope at sometime in the future you will look at goats again :-)

    1. DH - The neighbor took a bunch of pictures of the flock and was showing me today and commenting on how nice they looked in her yard. I was down there seeing what I needed to put the fence up and calling the underground cable people as there is some phone line that is buried there.

      We just are not set up for a little goat. No matter how sweet and entertaining she was it wouldn't be fair to try and run a little girl like her with larger sheep who wouldn't like her and fences sized for larger critters as all. I know she would constantly be having issues with those horns in the fence for one thing. Right now I am outside with her all the time but come Winter she would get lonely ans all. We kept her long enough to make sure she was going to a good home though.

  3. It is strange about short grass, it must taste better because our horse looks forward to me leading him to the yard to eat before going to the stable. He will eat short grass that is growing beside lush long grass. Speaking of grass, the chickens love grass and they will eat it until it dies if in a pen. Goats are big business for some here as we are within driving distance of ethnic population concentrations and they love the little darlings and agree that they are sweet. They want them by the trailer load but I don't have the patience to raise them as they don't behave as well as your sheep.

    1. Sf - I took a bunch of grass clippings into the birds the other day. So far the hens haven't come out of the barn to try the grass but the roosters sure were eating it when they first got here.

      I don't know what it is either but the sheep are the same way they want that short grass and will eat it all first before partaking of the taller stuff. Of course the sheep will eventually eat the tall stuff too the horses seem to just let that weeds go and concentrate on the good stuff.

      The guy who took the goat mentioned he sells the whethers for meat to the ethnics around the area. I know the goat we gave him will be fine since she is a doe but I make no promises on her offspring.

      One reason I don't raise goats.

  4. Replies
    1. TB - Yes it is they always are doing something they shouldn't

  5. Too bad we can't get rid of Obama that easy.....


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