I went out yesterday afternoon with the intention of taking the dogs for one last run when I heard lambs calling from a different section of the field than where they should be. I walked down with Gel (almost falling on my ass on the slippery mud going down the hill) and sure enough, the ewes and lambs had gone through the ElectroNet (which isn’t charged right now). Shoot!
I need to get to figure out why the fence isn’t charging properly. It could be that I need to replace the battery, but I will be engaging in the continuing saga of ElectroNet placement this weekend. I am determined to master it!
Anyway, I walked into the field with Gel to find out where the ewes and lambs were, cussing the whole way because the wethers and young ewes were in the same field the last time I checked and I expected they would have mingled into one herd which would really suck because I’d have to separate them out again once I got them all up. I am keeping the wethers and young ewes separate as working sheep. I don’t want Cian or Fern working the ewes with lambs until the lambs are closer to weaning age.
When I saw the flock of ewes and lambs, I realized that they had not mingled with the wethers and young ewes who were grazing several hundred yards away. Yea! I carefully sent Gel out, ready to pull him in if he looked like he was going to sweep around to pick up all the sheep. He did what I needed him to do and we brought the ewes and lambs up.
When we got up to the house, I figured what the hell, I might as well put them in the fenced-in area with the goats and Rose and see how she did with them. There is a round bale in the chicken and duck pasture that the ewes and lambs were feeding on, but they were eating it from the inside out and I knew it was only a matter of time before the bale collapsed and I was afraid it would collapse on top of a lamb or two.
Gel pushed the flock in and I stood in there with them watching Rose. She was curious about the ewes and lambs, but for the most part, she didn’t pay them much attention. After a few minutes, the wether and young ewe flock came up and I put them in the chicken and duck pasture. Then I realized two lambs were calling for their mother and she wasn’t in with them. Shoot! She was in the wether and young ewe flock. I tried to get just her out, but two wethers, Joey (and he may very well have been this ewe’s lamb from last year) and one of the wethers from South Carolina came out as well. The gate to the chicken and duck pasture is not bulky enough to sort sheep, they can push through it too easily. It wasn’t made to stop sheep or goats. I will be replacing that gate with an eight foot long pipe gate as soon as possible. Then I tried to get just the ewe in to the fenced-in area, but I slipped and fell in the mud trying to hold the gate and the wethers got in there too.
Welcome to shedding practice in the real world. It took us a while and I cranked at Gel some (remember, I was not feeling well and yes, I did catch another darned cold), but he held up to my cranking and we got the job done.
The ewes and lambs stayed with Rose all night. As soon as it was light enough this morning, I went out to check on them and everyone is fine. I distributed out a bale of hay and in a few minutes, I’ll go out to milk, feed all of the dogs and then take the Border Collies for a run.