Today the sheep got dropped off. They all look very nice, except one who has hoof rot bad enough that she’s walking on her knees a lot. But, the seller did disclose that in advance, I decided to take her, since I’m pretty good at healing hoof problems and she was lower priced. It helps to have the dogs, who can hold the sheep I want to catch and treat. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to treat and handle sheep without dogs, I guess you just have to grain-train them and still do a lot of wrestling.
Here is the ram, he is six-year-old “Hershey.”
Here are the six ewes:
They are settled in well and enjoying the nice pasture. Heshey is locked up for 17 days in a mini-pen inside the pasture, the “magic number” of days to kick all of the girls back into heat. Three might already be bred, so I need to ensure that enough time passes before he covers them to be sure I know which sire goes with which lambs. The pre-bred ewes should lamb by Feb 19th, and the ones bred later won’t lamb until after March 1st.
I have yet to decide if I’m going to “flush” the ewes–grain them up until the ram is let out. Supposedly, that helps ensure twinning; but the sellers assure me these girls twin and triplet regularly just on grass. I’ll figure it out tomorrow!
I let Maggie work them just a tiny bit, just push them gently around. They were very calm, much less reactionary than I expected for non-dog-broke shep. Here she is, “meeting” the ram and doing her best to be brave and show him who’s boss! She was a little chicken, though, I’ll confess!