Cheryl said...How about that? I’ve been missed. Time to get back into gear.
Now, you can't just leave your 2 blog fans in suspenders like this. How about an update? ;)
There have been lots of things happening on and around the farm with the obvious exception of blog postings.
We have established something of a new routine here with the sheep herd. At the MSA meeting (see previous post) we learned a lot about internal parasites and how to manage them.
The ofending vermin is Haemonchus contortus, commonly known as the barberpole worm.
This visious little beasty is a major problem here with our hot wet climate. We have lost several sheep to this bug.
One fact about how it works struck me. It lays on the ground and is rather inert until the grass becoms wet. It then “swims” up the grass blade where it can be eaten by a sheep.
If the grass is dry it is very unlikely that the sheep will ingest the parasite.
Our sheep tend to graze heavly right at daybreak, no doubt because it is cooler than later in the day. Dew is usually very heavy here. If you walk a pasture early in the day it will soak through your clothes.
Sheep in the dry lot
The new routine is this, in the evening the sheep get penned up in the dry lot not to be release til the dew burns off the next day, typically about 10:00 AM.
We are now at the beginning o f breeding season. The ewes are divided into two groups, each with one of the rams. The market lambs are in yet another group.
The ewes and the rams have been on opposite sides of a fence for a week or so. They have been making kissy noises back and forth all that time.
Judging by the activity so far, lambing season should be short and early next spring.
Three of the 14 market lambs have been sold to 4 different people, the ultimate consumers.
I'm still working out the logistics of getting animals to the butcher and meat to the customers but we will get it done somehow.
I just came back from a visit to the butcher shop I'll be working with. It is a very nice little operation. Clean and professionally run. I was impressed.