Thursday, February 2, 2012
What's the world coming to?
I've given up on winter this year. My daffodils are blooming and the forsythia is coming on strong. It's too weird. I don't seem to be able to conjure up any snow, so I'm just going to enjoy the mild weather ( and hope that winter doesn't show up at the end of March, when lambing begins ).
I have lots of little rituals and my own methods of doing things around here that can appear to be awfully random to the casual observer ( and my husband ). For instance, the way I feed hay. Mornings and evenings I pull the hay cart out into the field and put down flakes of hay for the sheep, llamas and alpacas. There is some waste from feeding on the ground, but it is preferable to having the sheep pull hay out of the feeders and down on their neighbor's head. It certainly would be easier to feed from big roll bales, but there is no way to keep the fleeces clean and having clean fleeces is very important to me. I like to put hay out in a different location every day, to have fresh ground under the hay. When the weather is not unpleasant, I go as far out into the field as I can stand to push the cart and then, when the weather is nasty, I have cleaner spots up close to the gates, where I can quickly unload the hay. Since we have had very little unpleasant weather, I'm now going way, way, way out. Pretty soon I'll be in the "back forty" ! Sometimes the hay is so far away from the gate that the sheep have trouble seeing it and I have to lead them half way there before they spy it.
Last fall, I was worried that we might not have enough hay to get us through the winter. We ended up buying extra and are now going to have plenty to get us through. Of course, if the weather continues to be strangely warm like this, I can stop feeding hay and will have to start mowing the grass !!
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This is probably a stupid question, but I know nothing about livestock. If the grass is not covered by snow, why can't the sheep just eat that and not hay? Is grass not as nutritive in the winter? The sheep don't eat hay in the summer, right?ReplyDelete
Let's hope it's not snowing for the Fiber fest! lol. That may be way out.. but who knows, 60 deg weeks in late Jan/early Feb is way out there too! Hope you're enjoying the mild temps.ReplyDelete
I have a feeling winter will make it's appearance at the most inopportune time - like April!ReplyDelete
My sheep refuse to eat off the ground. What's up with that? I have to put it in the feeders and then they are a mess. Ugh.ReplyDelete
Found your blog on the Whole Food Kitchen site and decided to check it out...very nice! We too are having crazy, warm weather....of course, we never get snow...but 80 degrees in January ~ that is one for the record books. Looking forward to our class and I am enjoying seeing all those cute sheep that you own...we own a lot of animals but havn't had the pleasure of owning sheep yet!ReplyDelete