Our new morning routine is to move the sheep out of the upper pasture, into an unfenced area, through the side yard of the house and down into the very back reaches of the property. It is still too wet to safely get the tractor down there to mow and I would much prefer to have the sheep be full of grass as opposed to cutting it.
It is a win/win. They stuff their faces. I don't have to mow & my boss does not have to pay me for the hours I would be sitting on the tractor.
The grass is fertilized and dandelions are delicately extracted from the lawn, with precision accuracy.
Behold, the Dandelion Destroyer weed eradication system.
She spots her victim.
Whoosh it is gone. Just like that, naturally, without the use of chemicals.
After you move the sheep once, they get the routine down. The trick is to get them through the yard without taking bites off the rhododendrons, which are highly toxic and can cause a painful death by poisoning.
Brynn's job is to move the sheep quickly through the yard, then keep them off the back of the house and in the lower pasture which we are clearing.
Her favorite thing is to sit high up on this log and view her domain.
For the most part the sheep are well behaved and stay in the back. They have plenty of forage to keep them busy.
In addition to the Dandelion Destroyer, I have put a stump removal crew to work.
Stump removal is hard work, requiring frequent naps.
This ewe has an opinion about making her lambs perform farm chores.
"I oppose lamb farm labor."
After the flock is stuffed, they ruminate and chew their cud.
Napping lambs are fun to sneak up on & tickle. Try it some day, it will make you giggle.
Like people, they are rarely satisfied, and the grass is always greener in the forbidden zone.
They wouldn't be sheep if they passed an opportunity to plot their escape. For the most part sheep are predictable creatures. They telegraph their intentions clearly if you know what to look for.
Here you can see them looking at the area of the yard they are NOT allowed into.
That would be due to this brat.
"Hey Girls! Yummy poisonous plants this way! Whoever wants horrible stomach cramps, projectile vomiting and a painful death follow me!"
Why are they drawn to things that will kill them? Some of the sheep seem smart enough to NOT eat this damn plant.
Some, obviously, are not.
"Ooooh look, I haven't tasted that yet. I bet those shiny leaves are gonna taste good."
Brynn says "Step away from the Rhododendron idiots!"
"AND STAY AWAY!"
Other than keeping them from killing themselves it is a pretty quiet morning.
I can enjoy the sounds of the birds, the occasional eagle flying over head (watching the sheep scatter) and relax before I have to start busting my butt on the landscaping or clearing. Brynn enjoys her morning on patrol & naps the afternoon away while I work.
Full and contented sheep make me smile. More than anything they make my wallet happy - all the less money I have to spend on alfalfa.
This weekend we shear, finally. The sheep will be so happy.
Time to head back to the pasture for afternoon cud chewing.