Tear down these walls

The rams have twisted and bent cattle panels with their horns.  They also broke through the panels and are now hanging out with the ladies.  This is not really that bad, even though there are lambs there because it’s the tail end of the Icelandic breeding season and the lambs are unlikely to conceive anyway.

It wasn’t lack of food, it was hormones (they left their food to go do this).  Spring is a funny season.


Built a shelter for the rams that made it through the recent windstorm

Here is the nice shelter.  The rams like it.  It currently (for a few hours at least) has some hay in the feeder.  It keeps the hay dry well and we’re already seeing a lot less waste.

The wind blew it loose in the back, but that’s getting fixed up this weekend.  Cattle panels+tarp=happy rams no longer shivering in the rain and wind.

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Breeding logistics begin

We moved the ram lambs in with the adults.  They formed their own little mini-flock far away from the big older rams.  Bucky sniffed Sokka, our recovery story and declared him in decent enough health.  Shaft is thrilled to have moved up three places in the pecking order.  Selecting for temperament really pays off when you do have to keep rams of different ages together.

Registration is what we’ve decided to pursue for the flock as a whole going forward, but it’s complicated to set up initially, so we’ll be breeding around Thanksgiving again or whenever day after I can get the registration people on the phone, whichever comes first.

It’s weird weather, wet and green, but cold nights, though not cold enough for frost where we are.  The sheep are ok with the new grass but like us they are not fans of the mud.  Straw-spreading season has definitely begun.  I hope the winter stays mild.

The sheep are happy.

We put the rams in with the ewes for a little while since everyone is out of season and this is a strongly seasonal breed, so winter birth is low risk.  They are going back to their own pen this weekend though.  It gave the grass in the ram pen a chance to recover.

The ewes did start weaning, but the lambs still have a pull now and again.  It’s very gentle compared with how the local deer wean (chasing the fawns until they stop coming up).  The ewes mainly just walk away at shorter and shorter intervals.

It’s colder than we thought it would be a lot of days this summer, but this is the easy time of year with sheep.  They don’t have anything to do except grow their fleece out and get bigger in the case of the lambs.  And in the case of our sheep, take out massive amounts of bramble.  They are covered in blackberry switches, but it’s totally worth it, they are demolishing the Himalayan and native brambles that we opened up for them.  I had heard Icelandics were great with bramble, but I didn’t think they would make so much progress in such a short time.  So that’s a nice bonus.