Friday, 31 July 2015

Greener Grass

It's moving day for the ewes, who have been sharing Kitty's paddock. The sheep eat the excess grass in her paddock, which helps Kitty stick to her diet and prevents laminitis. The new grazing is only a mile away so we can walk there along the quiet lanes -

It's a warm sunny evening, perfect for a walk.

The ewes sample the tasty plants in the hedgerow as we pass by. Ian follows behind in the ATV, to move any stragglers that would rather eat than walk. Mike is at the other end of the lane, blocking traffic. A farmer can stop traffic up to fifteen minutes in order to move livestock. I'm walking with the sheep, shaking a bucket of sheep nuts to keep the ewes moving.

We arrive at the new grass in no time, and I walk them straight into a pen, so I can treat any lame sheep and give the ewes a quick check over before leaving them to their supper.

They are good girls.


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of my childhood in Montana, where they would move huge flocks of sheep from summer to winter pasture and back, right down the highways. Tne trick was to keep the car moving, but very slowly, as the sheep flowed around us on all sides, baa-ing constantly.

Christine said...

Does it take only 15 minutes to move the sheep a mile? The logistics of this seem like it would take longer -- and yet it looks like a peaceful farm chore. Great pictures!

Jennifer Montero said...

Anon - My few sheep can't even begin to compare to the flocks you drove through in Montana. That must have been a sight, and a long day for the shepherds!

Christine - I think the 15 minute rule is for dairy farmers crossing the road twice a day to bring cows in and out for milking. In that case, the traffic has to stop and wait for the whole herd to lumber slowly over the road. Sheep are sparky little beasts that trot down the lane, and cars can pass through them if necessary. As Anon said, you just have to drive slowly and the sheep will flow around.

Paula said...

Glad to see you're still alive and well! How is the new employer working out? It looks very pretty where you are. How many sheep do you have these days, and what are you doing with the wool?

Jennifer Montero said...

Paula - New job is excellent for both Mike and me, and the area is beautiful. I have had to shrink my flock a bit as I have less grazing here so I'm back to 22 breeding ewes, a ram, and of course Pumpkin. There are still 18 of this year's lambs to go to market. I still sell the wool to the British Wool Board, but made a profit (after shearing costs!) for the first time ever. It's all positive stuff.