Catching the sheep.
We decided to get sheep to start our farming life in a bigger way, adding to the twenty chickens we have been enjoying.
The sweet benefactor of our parish, who gave 40 acres of land for the purpose of building a traditional rite parish, had sheep she was willing to part with. We just needed to catch them.
The sheep have about an acre sized pen, with a shoot at one end for loading. We started early in the morning, rounding them toward the shoot and, quick success, we caught a ram, then another try: an ewe and another ram. One big swoop with everyone working together as walls in the woods, we had all the sheep in the shoot.
Some sheep were staying with Miss Betty, some were going with us. So sorting was taking a bit longer than we hoped because the sheep were getting a bit impatient with so many of us in their pen. Some saw an opening and charged toward Ceci who was holding the gate at the opposite end. They all got out.
We took a break, Fortunately, Father showed up to work on property and helped repair the gate.
Miss Betty got out her lasso and Nick was able to lasso/snare a ram, but, not one we were taking. We slowly cleared the pen of all animals that were to stay. Another couple came to work on the property and volunteered to be two more bodies. Father took control. He coulld tell we were needing a refresh and he is a shepherd after all and knew how to handle sheep and people!
We caught some more in the shoot, then we went to into corner and grab mode. This was exciting because these sheep can jump.
Molly almost had one in mid air but it just used Molly as a ramp.
Nick caught a big one by the waist and it drug him about ten feet.
Craig and Father were closing them into the shelter and Father caught a baby in on arm and another lamb in the other. It was exciting and times we like to remember as heroic moments of the day.
All in the end,no bruises for us or the sheep.
The lady that offered to help caught a lamb, then started crying. Miss Betty asked what was wrong and she said she just realized she had helped catch one to its death. I assured her that we were not taking these sheep to slaughter. They were going to a land of milk and honey, well, yaupon and sweet feed. They will be loved and taken care of, and if we lose one, it will be due to nature.
She was much comforted.
We took the longer less traveled drive home from the church property so we could have an easy pace with the sheep loaded in the trailer.
No problems, we unloaded them in their new home. They stuck close together the rest of the day.
Now they are starting to move about a little more independently of each other.
In all the craziness, we also bought one goat, Pocahontas. She is quite the climber. She prefers to eat out of the trough by standing in it. I had hoped she wouldn't be a bad influence to the sweet sheep.
In case you are asking, so what kind of sheep are these?
Barbados Black belly Sheep, They are a meat breed, not wool, meaning we won't need to sheer them, since they shed on their own. They are hardy, productive, parasite and foot rot resistance and have the reputation for taking care of themselves. They will be great for our hot climate.
We have a mostly wooded ranch, so their interest in eating underbrush works well for us and them. They ignored the sweet feed we mix with the sheep food in favor of the green leaves in their pen. We have a good mix of rams and ewes and babies. I think it is a pretty breed.
So, have the girls forgotten the chickens in all this excitement?
you tell me: