Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles

Shetland Sheep: Rich in History, Rich in Textiles! Our farm mission is to enjoy and promote the wonderful diversity of the Shetland breed by fully utilizing to the best of our ability all they have to offer historically. We believe the best preservation and management of this breed includes it's full spectrum of history. We encourage old and new shepherds alike to join in the fun by engaging in fiber arts, especially spinning and knitting, as this breed is so intimately linked with those aspects of the arts.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Breaking news...sheep on grass! lol

Well I haven't had much time to take pictures or blog much!  The good news is the sheep are now grazing!  Yippee!!  We are all happy about that!

The bad news is we've had a little trouble with lambs stuck in the fence.  One little moorit ram lamb has been tangled twice already.  Yesterday, he was in a boggy spot when he became entangled somehow.  We've been checking on them every little while and it's a good thing we do!  Everyone is fine, and today he is grazing just like all the others, except for the mud on his lovely wool!

Easing the sheep on grass is a slow process.  Many people have no idea how time consuming a flock can be in the spring with lambing, winter stress, and the return to summer grazing.  First, the shepherd must ease the sheep back on their rumens time to build up healthy bacteria to digest the grass.  If you don't take care to give the sheep time to ease on, they can bloat up, and if the bloat is bad enough, they can die.

Second, the lambs must be trained how to move with the flock without worry or stress, and how to find their mothers again if they get mixed up.  Even though the lambs are not nursing as much now, they still seek out the comfort and guidance of their mothers, and the mothers are still seeking the lambs and trying to keep them within sight.  They don't like being separated too far.

Third, the lambs need to be trained on the fence.  We had them all trained, and could confidently trust they'd be fine all day, until juicy grass was on the other side!  Now the lambs are getting a review of what happens if they stick their heads through the fence to reach that good spot, even though there are LOTS of juicy grass patches INSIDE the fence! Sigh...

And last, I hate to say it but...even some of the ewes need a tad of a reminder not to touch the fence!  Sigh...

After several days of running them out and in, their bellies are plenty full of the best nutrition in the world, everyone has napped in the sun and warmed winter's chill out of their bones, and now the sillies set in!!  It is great wisdom that a shepherd not sit on the sofa all winter and get out of shape! for the sheep will put your fitness to the test when the sillies set in!  Sigh...

TG for Border Collies!!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment