Changing Pastures

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“Pastures” would really not be the right word, seeing as I don’t consider the two parts of the fenced property to really be pasture size, but we are rotating them to their grazing area for the fall, which is our backyard.  I stopped mowing back there in late August, when the worst of the growing season was over.

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I can hardly stand to look out at the unmowed lawn, but it is worth it to let the grass grow so the sheep can have it to eat for as long as possible.  I’m hoping we don’t have to supplement much with hay this winter, i’d rather have them eating grass as long as possible.

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They did an amazing job on the side yard this summer.  We only mowed over there twice, and that was just to clean things up a bit.  When they eat some of the weeds, like dandelions, they didn’t eat all of it.  We had a few stems sticking up here and there, and since it does lead into the front of the property, I had my stepson go out and mow to keep it looking nice.  An added bonus to the sheep in the lawn is that they seem to have naturally thatched it, that combined with the natural fertilizer (sheep droppings) has me looking forward to next summer.  It will be interesting to see how improved the “lawn” is.

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I would have moved the boys into the back last month, but I wanted to fence off the patios before we let them loose.  They really enjoy hanging out on the concrete, which means it’s covered in little sheep pellets, which wouldn’t be so big of a deal if we actually stayed freezing most of the cold season.  It would be easy to just sweep it off.  However, we are wet for most of the fall, winter and spring, so that would just be a big mess.  Today we made it out to finally get the temporary electric fence up around the patios, but we didn’t quite get it completed.  We are having trouble getting the energizer to work, but we think it has to do with the grounding, so that should be fixed in the next few days.  For now, i’m thankful for this cold weather that is hitting the nation.  Freezing temps mean freezing poop.

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Ferdinand and Marley were in a state of bliss to be in the back on fresh grass.  They were driving me nuts with the constant escaping in the front.  They will be back there exclusively next summer, and there will be electrified fencing added to the set up.

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The barn is still not finished, and i’m somehow not surprised.  The ridge cap still needs to be finished, the hayloft still needs to be finished and we need to finish putting on the cedar trim outside, but at least we did get the doors on with a latch.

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They are still loving their sea kelp.  I can’t remember if I mentioned we are doing natural sheep care, and providing free choice minerals, but that is working out extremely well.  The boys are getting so wooly.  So wooly in fact that Marley is again going wool blind and needs a little trim around the eyes for a second time.  It has been horribly wet these past few weeks, but today was a lovely dry day.  I buried my fingers into Marley’s wool and it was so thick and warm.  I can hardly wait to shear them in the spring and knit something from their wool.

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  • Oh how I love reading about these two!! I adore how wooly their faces are – reminds me of the sheep dog in the cartoons with his fringe of hair covering his eyes but he saw everything that the coyote tried to do!!