Friday, July 23, 2010

New duds for the dudes

The big boys finally got some new coats a few days ago. I am really pleased with how their fleeces are looking underneath those coats. Ollie and Mr. Lucky are sparkling clean and Mr. Lucky's fleece is black, black, black. No sun bleached tips for him this year. Buddy is not currently wearing one, but I finally got one big enough to fit him and now I'm just waiting for a good rain to clean him up a little before he dons it. Putting these coats on the whole flock is a sizable investment for me and I've been buying them a few at a time. Each animal will require several different sizes within the space of one year's fleece growing cycle, so the cost really adds up. My concern about having the sheep wear the coats was that it might be more stressful during hot weather, but so far, my observation has been that if anything, the black sheep are staying a little cooler and the white sheep don't seem to be bothered by them at all. I'm already thinking about those beautiful fleeces and the colors I will dye them (or not).

The life of a shepherd is so cyclical. I think that's one of the aspects of this life I love best. Spending time with the flock is an every day event for me, but certain times of the year require more energy than others. Lambing season is the most time consuming, but also the most rewarding. Summer requires extra vigilance to keep everyone healthy. Fall brings breeding season and decision making about which ram to breed to which ewes. Winter means feeding and barn work several times a day.

Sometimes it seems as though life on the farm is all about looking ahead. We're always planning for the next breeding, the next shearing, the next lambing. In some ways, the ability to keep looking ahead is a gift because it helps prevent getting completely depressed when things inevitably go awry. The day to day work does sometimes get me down, but when the paycheck is beautiful fleeces and sweet lambs, it's reason enough to keep going. Mike and I talk a lot about learning to "enjoy the moment" and it's often a struggle for me to slow down long enough to do that. Maybe if I keep on practicing, I'll finally get the hang of it.

I hope your weekend is full of enjoying the moments.


  1. Yep, I've found the same thing; the dark sheep are actually cooler in light-colored coats and the others are unaffected. It looks like you are using a different brand than the Rocky Sheep Suits I favor. It's time for a few of mine to get the next size larger!

  2. Dianne...I endeavor to enjoy each moment but find myself too frequently looking ahead. It's hard to stop saying, "when happens, things will be better." I sure enjoy the comings and goings at your place!


  3. Love the new coats!1 In your spare time you could embroider pretty flowers on them!!
    Got my eye on that honey-colored fleece.