Monday, November 9, 2015
The new routine around here since the ewes went in with the rams is finally shaking itself out. We don't feed grain in the mornings during the Summer months but usually starting in late Fall we will begin giving a little grain each morning.
The first step is putting it in the troughs in the West pasture so all the yearlings will leave their mommies from the fence and go running to where they are suppose to be all day. Nothing makes a sheep more brave than grain. I usually throw them a little loose hay over too in case they are getting tired of the stuff in the ring.
Then I go around and feed the ewes and rams. The hay manger is working out better since I tweaked the design yesterday. It has lessened the waste and more importantly it also shows how much they are eating and not just stepping on. There is still some waste from them pulling it out but it is mostly confined to the area directly under the manger and doesn't get walked on and spread out.
I removed the solid top support bar and made six smaller ones that fit in the cattle panel openings so I could drop it down. It stays pretty solidly on the panel. The only issue I can see is when or if the sheep start using it as a scratching post. I just need to design a top for it and then make four out of outside rated wood next and it should drop our hay consumption by a good bit. I can then tell exactly when I need to feed more hay.
After the grain is doled out it's time to let the chickens out who immediately run as fast as they can to the various feeders to clean up any grain left behind or dropped on the ground. Since we got the chickens the wild bird population that used to be everywhere has dropped. The down side of this is that it includes the quail that I was so fond of. The up side is that the bug population has dropped as well. I no longer see those damned pill bugs everywhere either.
After cleaning up all the loose grain the chickens head for the front part of the barn to await the sun that is soon to come shining in. Hennypenny is the little red one on the step of the garden tractor in the above picture. She hides from Rocky at all times and pretty much spends the entire day hanging out around the tractor waiting for humans to come around. Once I start scooping out grain she either flies up onto my shoulder or jumps into the grain bin.
The entire flock is never together at all anymore. There are usually hens scattered all around the barn lot and it drives Rocky the rooster crazy trying to keep an eye on all of them. This has worked out well for Hennypenny who can usually stay well away from him and hide most of the day. Rocky's other issue is he is getting too big to squeeze through the cattle panel openings now. It's pretty hilarious to watch him almost get stuck when chasing a hen or running from a human. I guess he is going to have to learn to start hopping over.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!!!