Today was a busy one. The farm now has 5 distinguished small flocks. That means to start breeding season we need 7 pens. Well, we don’t have 7 pens. So we worked up a plan, worked and sorted herds and we started breeding season a bit differently this year.
First, we spent this morning working and checking all the sheep and goats. They all got checked and wormed. Some got their feet trimmed. While yet others got medication. We will start with Reba. She isn’t wormie but she is still thin and her poop is still very soft. I called the Vet yet again. This time we gave her an iron shot. If she was having an issue with worms before it may have left her anemic. To help her Poop we gave her a probiotic bolus to help her tummy. We are praying that it helps her. It these things don’t make a difference she will not be bred this year. She is now in the barn and being fed seperate to see if maybe she just doesn’t eat fast enough to get enough feed for her large size. We will see. Besides, Patches likes having company in the barn.
Then there are about 4 smaller sheep that I know probably get pushed out of the feed troths so they are now penned off in the goat pen so that they can eat at their own speed and only compete with sheep their own size. There is only 4 so it really shouldn’t be a problem. They also got wormed just in case it was a matter of that and not that they weren’t getting enough to eat.
Then we decided to try something new and see if it fit our farm better. This year there will be two waves of breeding season. The Merinos and the Dorsets are now in pens with rams. Okay so the Dorsets are really just Carrie and Fudgie. The Merinos are going to try and breed with Knight. His leg is now healed and if he can stand the weight then he should be able to breed the girls. If not we will see about using Rammie. However, Baby Girl is his daughter so if we have to use him she will not be bred. Mom is also worried about Hersey. The new merinos are much larger then her so we don’t know how she will take the weight of Knight and we will have to watch her at birthing time. Bell wasn’t a problem to have but we don’t want the size of the babies to become an issue for the ewes either. Anyway, the plan is to have those two larger breed sheep flocks breed and birth first that way they can be on the pasture already bred while the other flocks are breeding. Then they will birth and use the barn first with the smaller size sheep birthing when it is warmer in the season. And all of that will also cut the need for 7 pens for the breeding season.
If you remember last year we had two sheep get bred that we didn’t want bred and that isn’t happening this year. We are being very Careful and the Rams not in use will be in the Ram Pen at all times. This year we also plan to have a “I am not being breed this year” pen. Everything we plan not to breed will be in that pen starting with the second wave of breeding until the last Ram is pulled from the herd. With that said Today, we also have two Shetland Rams that are still for sale. So I pulled them, wormed them and they are now in the man pen as well. (Nope, not taking any chances with this breeding season)
We also made a list of men to be banded this fall. Scamp and Blotch are at the top of that list. And if we don’t need Rammie, he too will join the ranks of Menless Men. After they are banded and taken care of they too will go out on the pasture but only after ample time as they can’t get any little swimmers through the bands. LOL It is just a safety thing. We want to make sure they don’t breed what they shouldn’t. After they are banded they will stay on the pasture as they won’t be able to breed. That means less men in the man pen. That is a good thing.
While we worked the flock. We also took time to decided who will be bred to whom. Along with who will be banded, we also decided Who we are keeping as fiber animals, who we will keep as breeding stock and who will be finding new homes. Mom made sure to take pictures of the entire flock as we are not only making a slideshow for the web page but Mom is attaching a picture of each animal to her paperwork on that animal. I do want to say this …. Cinnamon – Through it all – Now looks better then I have ever seen her look … Check this out …
She is still very small in size but she looks healthy, she can walk and she is doing great. Now if she will just graze, eat the right food and stay out of trouble she should be fine. (she is one that will never be bred. She is going in the not to be bred pen)
So just for a taste of what we saw today check out these …
After all that was decided, Mom got after the paper work for the entire flock and even redid our flock management binder. Before we had one for cattle, one for sheep, one for horses and one for goats but now we have ONE and only one!
After lunch Mom took a break from her paperwork and we did more little things around the farm. Like now there is a mineral block and bunk under every horse stall. We normally feed under the stalls in the winter but we also use the bunks for other animals through the summer so they get moved all around. As for now they are all where they should be. Also we had to change out the Ram pen Bunk for one that is lower to the ground because I put the two little rams in there. They couldn’t reach the feed in the tall one.
Anyway, after that I rode and ponyed Storm. We have a few more days before she goes off to the trainer and I want to make sure she knows who I am and that I love her. I know horses don’t forget people but I just want her to remember me as a kind person. So I am spending as much time as I can with her. I also know that she will only be gone a month so I will have her back in no time.