Tuesday, January 29, 2013


(Aslan was still watching after his girls, even though they were on the "wrong" side of the fence)
The weekend brought some changes for the usual inhabitants of the barn.  Nearly since they were born, my "little" girls have had access to the barn at night.  First at their mother's sides and then, after weaning,  as part of their own girl gang.  I do this because I like to keep a close watch on them and observe their personalities and how they are growing out.  I enjoy having close interaction with them several times a day, so they know me and that I'm here to take care of them.  The time has come for them to be big girls and be assimilated into the main ewe flock.  I've been procrastinating, but now that we are getting closer to lambing time, I needed to simplify the routine and open up a space in the barn for the pregnant ewes.  So, the little girls have moved to what we call the driveway lot, which is a small field that contains the road that leads to be back 100 plus acres of the farm.  They will probably stay there for a week or so, then move into the field with the adult ewes.  So far, they don't seem to be giving this plan their approval.  There's been a lot of hanging out right by the gate and my appearance starts up a chorus of baas.  Of course, the real unhappiness set in when they didn't get to come inside that first night.  I told Mike that "the Little Princesses" were out there thinking something had gone terribly wrong.

(Aslan is just a little conflicted here)
The first few days I put them in an adjoining pasture and brought the pregnant ewes into Aslan's field.  It's his job to guard the groups that are in the pastures connected to the barn and he's done a great job watching over the girls from the time they were born until now.  Before he came to live with us, Aslan started his sheep guarding life behind electric fences, which we don't have.  Holly comes in and out of the pastures (squeezing herself through the upper section of the gates).  It has not seemed to occur to Aslan that he could actually leave the field he's in, if he chose to do so and that is a good thing.  He was a little confused when his girls got moved away, but seems to have settled in with the six ewes that are supposed to lamb starting in about 4 weeks.

We took advantage of the crazy mild weather we're having and broke down all the sheep pen panels and Mike used his Bobcat to completely strip out all the old bedding.  We'll be getting several loads of gravel delivered and it will be spread to create a lovely, clean barn floor.   Of course, I'll immediately put down fresh straw, build a pen for the pregnant ewes and the process will begin all over again.  This yearly cycle is one of the things I love most about raising sheep.  It changes a bit from month to month.  I'm already excited about the birth of new lambs.  I promised Mike I would only breed a few this year and I've kept my word.  (It's so hard for me to let them go, it's better if I don't have 50+ lambs born!) 

This weather ...... is ridiculous!  It was 73 degrees when I finished barn chores this evening.  I've got daffodils blooming and I actually heard a few peepers at the pond as I walked to the house.  We're under a severe weather watch tonight and tomorrow because there is a big cold front headed our way and it's predicted to be 15 degrees on Thursday.

My apologies for being absent from here so much lately.  I'm still dealing with the rotator cuff injury and getting comfortable enough to sleep has been elusive.  I'm going to town for physical therapy several days a week, which I don't like doing because it wrecks my whole day.  I'll admit I'm struggling a bit with my resolve to be a more positive person this year.  (Now that I've written that I realize I need to buck up and try harder.)  So, I guess there's my reminder.  I'll try harder!  I'll be back soon.


  1. Hi there,
    I just stumbled onto your blog and really enjoyed my visit. I knit and am hoping to add a sheep or two to our place as we move towards being more self sustaining.

    I hope you feel better and get to graduate PT soon. Your photos are wonderful and I'm looking forward to visiting again!


    1. Welcome Jen-You'll love having some sheep around. I heartily recommend it!

  2. Yay, I'm looking forward to the lamb cam!

    1. The lamb-cam should be up and running in a few weeks, though the first lambs aren't due til around March 1st. I'll admit that I enjoy it as much as anyone!

  3. Mmmmm.... Look at all the beautiful fleece!

  4. Replies
    1. I wouldn't want to try raising sheep here without them. I'm pretty sure it would be a discouraging situation.