Monday, April 08, 2013

Monday Dose of Cute: Oh, Happy Day

Sheep Freedom Day (1) - Waiting for their breakfast hay to be delivered - FarmgirlFare.com
Just hanging out, waiting for their breakfast hay to be delivered.

Two months ago we moved all of the sheep who weren't in the barn having babies off of the big front field, which is our main grazing pasture, and into a pen about a half acre in size across from the barn.

Until yesterday they lived a boring (in a sheep's opinion) existence in there, laying around, eating alfalfa hay twice a day (that we had to buy because our own hayfield didn't grow during last year's terrible drought), and impatiently waiting for the day when they would once again be able to roam the fields, munching on fresh green grass.

12 more photos and the rest of the story below (hover over each image for a description). . .

Sheep Freedom Day (2) - Hoping for hay, about to get something much better - FarmgirlFare.com

Ideally we like to keep all the sheep off the fields until at least the first of May, so the cool season grasses have more of a chance to grow, but we're almost out of hay. That means Sheep Freedom Day came early this year for 24 happy woollies.

Sheep Freedom Day (3) - Back on green grass at last! - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (4) - Livestock guardian Marta Beast heads out after her flock - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (5) - Heading out to greener pastures - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (6) - The sun popped out from behind a cloud and changed the color of everything - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (7) - Sorry, boys, no time to flirt - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (8) - Our Katahdin hair sheep ewes are shedding their winter coats, nearly empty hay barn in the background - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (9) - Daisy's job just got a whole lot more interesting - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (10) - Happy sheep literally jump for joy; note the one on the far right - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (11) - Oops, less than an hour out and a few wayward woollies have already sneaked into the hayfield - FarmgirlFare.com

Sheep Freedom Day (12) - Stock dog Lucky Buddy Bear says hi to Daisy, our Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog - FarmgirlFare.com

As you can see, the grass is still very short because we aren't getting enough rain, so until they start sneaking into the hayfield, eating too much of Donkeyland, or escaping off the farm entirely (putting up and fixing fence—it's a never ending job!), this flock will be kept out of the front field (which we spent a small fortune fencing in four years ago) and allowed to roam free between the barn and the house, up the nearby wooded hillsides, and along the wet weather creek bed (which is dry again) that leads to Donkeyland, eating whatever palatable plants, shoots, and short grass they can find.

The two rams will stay in their small winter pen until their larger pen has a chance to grow more, and the nine mamas and their 19 lambs will stay in the barn and quarter-acre barnyard for a few more weeks until the hay runs out. This also allows the rapidly growing lambs to have round the clock access to the grain in their creep feeder. The moms are fed grain, too, just not nearly as much as they'd like.

Meanwhile, the freedom flock will be lured back into their pen each evening by troughs full of grain treats. Early spring grass tastes great, but it's lacking in nutritional value. So for a little while, they get to gobble up the best of both worlds. Oh, happy day.

Sheep Freedom Day (13) - Urp. - FarmgirlFare.com
Urp.

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13 comments:

  1. Good luck on rain - we need bad up here in northwest Minnesota, too!

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  2. They must be very happy that they're back on green grass at last.

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  3. They look so happy to be out! I will hope for better rain for you this season.

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  4. Ty for the wonderful pics of green grass lol. Saskatchewan and most of Canada still have snow on the ground with more coming this weekend. Green is beautiful!!!

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  5. Wishing for rain for you. Wishing ALOT!!

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  6. I have my fingers crossed that you guys get some much needed rain to grow the pastures this year. The sheepies do look very happy to be out and about! :)

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  7. I'm hoping for a much better hay season for you two. Worried about the empty hay barn and having to turn them out early.

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  8. Oh my good lord, I am praying for all our rain to go to you instead. Here in Michigan it has been raining straight for 6 days. Of course it is during my week of vacation that I took to get the gardens ready for summer :-) Heres hoping it comes to you next!

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  9. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all the nice comments and the rain wishes. We had a huge thunderstorm roll in last night and it rained for a few hours - woohoo! Please keep it coming! :)

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  10. Glad to hear you have some rain coming! I sooo love your blog. I haven't even been able to get any seeds started this year because I've had some awful morning sickness. So I'm living vicariously. :)

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  11. I love the pic where the two wool-bearers are kicking up their back heels - joyous to be out and about I presume !~!

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  12. You do have quite a few sheep. Beautiful scenery also.

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