Tuesday, April 22, 2008

bad ideas

Has this happened at your house?
Gosh, that lawn looks so good....it's a shame to cut it. Maybe we could put some sheep out there. It's fenced so they can't get to the road, and I'll stay outside and do some gardening.
Ha Ha Ha Ha.........Ho ho hooohho.
Don't ever think like this. It sounds too easy, and you know something will happen to make it a disaster!
Well, my first thought these days is what can my moms and lambs eat, since hay is not available....and a nice long lawn looked like a good substitute. So for two days I let ewe and lambs that were not sold out into the unbred side of the barn. That way they could follow all the other ewes out to the hay ground....where there are no fences.
Since the hay ground is about 1/2 mile away from the house....I don't always hear what is going on out there. I would like to know there is nothing endangering the ewes and lambs that have been sold.
What could be easier? The moms and lambs were fenced right next to the yard. I opened the gate and moms ran out to eat grass...the baaing lambs soon decided to follow the moms.
I got down on my knees.....not an easy job....and started creating a garden for my new Lavender plants...thanks to Angela! And I moved the lovely daylilies out of their pots....where they had spent last summer....The plants all went out in the south part of the yard.
As I was kneeling, I saw a ewe who didn't belong. OK....I don't remember which ewe I saw first. But as I looked up, I noticed more ewes that were not moms eating the long grass.
Sometime during the about two hours....a ewe had opened the gate into the other part of the fencing. All the ewes from the hayground were now pushing their way into the back yard. Some of the new moms and lambs were pushing their way out into the pasture side. Everyone was baaing....except me!
I wasn't even yelling....I couldn't be heard anyway. I finally got up, and went for the grain. As I passed the inside of the barn, I saw Donna....one of my first ewes....trying to push out a lamb.
Minor distraction, make sure Donna doesn't lose a lamb....she's 9 now...and not as agile as a younger ewe.
Armed with a bucket of grain....I began throwing grain, and calling baaing sheep. They didn't know the program.
As a shepherd, you know, sheep get used to a certain way of doing things. They hadn't been in the back yard before....so they didn't know which way to run. Half of the ewes came out and not many of the 70 odd lambs....who were now running back and forth wondering where mom went. Lambs wonder out loud....very out loud! During the din, my husband got the lawn mower going....thinking it would drive the sheep out of the yard. Actually, most just ran back and forth.
It did however, add to the level of noise.
I figured out how to move some ewes away from the gates with interior fencing. Eventually we got down to a dozen lambs running back and forth. I opened the gates wide enough to let lambs in but not wide enough to let ewes out. Finally the lambs got into the pasture fencing. They actually all got into the night fencing too. I really don't know how. But they were all mixed up. Two yearlings were watching Donna push. One or two moms couldn't find their lambs. So I went from one baaing ewe to the other looking for lost lambs. The yearling ewes lost interest, and I helped Donna clean the nose of her sputtering ram lamb. Off to find another lamb. I heard baaing from the jug, and looked right at the offending ram lamb, He wasn't baaing. Against the wall, there were fencing panels tied in place. Over them was a blanket....behind the blanket was a ram lamb. Wedged into the wall.....I untied all the panels and lifted the ram lamb out. Then I went back to revive the ewe lamb that Donna had just pushed out. I opened the sides. Everyone was now together.
Tomorrow...which in the sceme of things was today....the sheep could all go out to the hayground to eat. Heck with the hay crop...we need the grass.
So today, the ewes and lambs noisily made their way out to the grass....during the day many of them got turned around and wandered down the creek in the woods. They were trapped outside the pastures, and openings had to be made to let them back out. Oh well, what do you expect when there are no fences?
The second problem with today, was that the fencing at the edge of the hay ground was down from flooding. Logs and sticks, grass and leaves matted onto fencing took some posts down...took some with the fencing....all lay in a jumble at the edge of the pastures. So this afternoon, we took the posts off, shook off the matting....pounded posts back in, and reattached the fences. Only about 150 feet of fencing....but it made me feel better. At the end of the day, the fences could be closed to the hayground. Good, since with the lambs playing outside the night fencing. I quit. They can stay where they are tonight. Hopefully there won't be anything chasing them. The dogs can bark....and I'll rest. Go in the barn, you can find it. Go to sleep.
The flowers got watered today, from above...I didn't get that far myself. Sorry, I didn't look to see how much the flowers were watered either.
Don't let that back yard fool you.
It might be a bad idea.


At 7:12 PM, Blogger Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

HAHAHAHEHEHEHEHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO!! I can just see it....something I would do too....something I would be muttering nasty words to myself for having done for the rest of the evening...of course I would let a stockdog out to help with the chaos, but like you said, when the sheep don't know where they are and neither has the dog worked the sheep there, it would get very interesting to say the least. Did Dear Husband end up mowing lawn anyways? If so, tell him to throw it over into the sheep yard....(VBEG).........
Happy Wednesday! (yes I know it's only Tuesday, but it must get better tomorrow, right?)

At 7:33 PM, Blogger Rayna said...

*hugs* been there, done that. You're right, not a good idea. But, what can you do when you're looking for grass, right? Darn sheep...but gotta love 'em :)


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