Well it was that time again. Time for conflict and discord between the wife and I. It was time to work the sheep! I also forgot to wear my apology T-shirt. We have removed the boys and ram weeks ago and needed to get the last of the lambs tagged and banded. It started out on a sour note. We took both dogs and Mouse snuck off and went around and tore into the sheep. He scattered them everywhere and had one he was chasing down. He would not lay down or let off the chase. Luckily for me and the ewe they were running toward me and I was able to get him to lay down. AnnMarie took Zeke around the lot and got the sheep to run over near the barn. She told Zeke to “down” and he decided to continue left which did make the sheep head toward the barn but was not what he was told to do. So I hollered at him to down then AnnMarie and I hollered at each other then Mouse got loose and started running toward the sheep so I hollered at him. We had to break out the shaker sticks as the sheep did not want to go into the barn. We need another small 30 foot section of fencing that lines up directly with the barn opening. This would allow us to use the dogs to push the sheep into the barn. Otherwise, it’s takes two people and two dogs to get them in the barn plus we had to use shaker sticks. I almost never use them with AnnMarie as she is far more patient with the animals than I am. Once inside the barn and doors shut. We proceeded to tag and band lambs.
This sounds like a shared duty but it really is not. Annmarie cannot work the bandorator or the ear tagger as they take a lot of hand strength. So she has to catch all the lambs. This sounds easy but the lambs are not all dainty newborns. Some are up to 2.5 months old and big up to 30 pounds. We tagged and banded 33 lambs today!! She was tired, dirty and grumpy by the time we were done. I kept offering to trade jobs, not much help, but we did manage to get finished. We have 94 moms and babies plus 21 whethers plus 1 ram for a total of 116 sheep.
We had pulled the ram off early but the horny bugger managed to get most of the older ewes pregnant! We had planned on a break allowing the ewes to put some weight back on. This means the ram is going to stay out for another six months at a minimum. We have to get rid of 85 sheep this summer. It will be interesting.
Today I placed panels across the front yard so I can turn the sheep out onto the front hillside again. The sheep are now mowing the hillside.