Friday, December 11, 2009

Yes I love my sheep

Don't get me wrong. I DO love my sheep. I"m not just a numbers fanatic or a production fanatic. Then again they aren't ALL tame, because they all have different personalities. Heck not all people are nice either!

Today I loved my sheep. I sat with the BFL group and had them nearly maul me over for scratches. I never give cookies or treats. They just come to me for that scratch and then get glossy eyed....until they've had enough and then they go back to what they were doing. I then sat with the Shetland ewes. Man do they look huge already. They must really like that grass hay I have for them :) I then went and sat with the BFL ram Kirkdale and my Texel ram Champ. They sure are sweethearts. Champ has really calmed down since those Shetland-Cheviots have gone back in with the mature ewe pen. I'm not going to lie..I love that cross but man are the W.I.L.D!!

Kirk and Champ never really pushed each other around when I introduced them. Those two rams, and Burma once I get him home will be housed separately from the horned Shetland rams. Poor Burma last winter was pushed around I think too much by the big Shetland horns. Now that I have multiple polled rams they will just stay together as a small group. I'm still blown away by how great this Texel is. If they didn't have lambing problems I'd be all about them. This guy has totally won me over with the breed. Kirk is always his respectable self and he leads with just a finger under his chin. Such a gentleman to his ladies too. Both I think are really stewards for their breeds (and great showcases of their breeders).

Today we had the water line freeze in the barn. For the dairy cows it was fine. The cows kept the barn above freezing and we had the line suspended from the ceiling (the barn was built way before indoor plumbing back in 1892). and so we have heat tape, pipe insulation and house insulation around the pipes and yet sometimes the heat tape quits working or its JUST THAT COLD! Today was that day. After a short thaw process with a handheld propane heater the tubs were filled again with water. I ran to town to take some deposits to the bank and when I returned I only saw TWO shetland ewes in their winter paddock. Ok I KNOW they all cannot fit in the one shelter in that pen and raced to the barn. Somehow...they managed to open the door that swings INTO their pen.....and were running the alleys eating every single bale of hay and leaving one big lose hay mess. Needless to say they ate their fill for the day and are NOT getting supper......I don't think they could fit any more in those rumens anyway!

Yes I still love my sheep. :P


Gail V said...

These sheep are so dear. The fellow who showed us, at the MN Lamb and Wool weekend, how the micron-fiber-machine (ummm, the OFA 200?) had Texels, I think. His fleece was quite amazing. I've heard Cheviots are flighty, and we know the Shetlands can tend that way, so. . . a cross? I suppose.
Sorry about the water pipes, winter is here, I guess.

Nancy K. said...

At least all they got into was HAY!
If that's the worst thing that happens this winter, you'll be one lucky shepherd! ;-)

Stay warm, buddy!

Becky Utecht said...

Gail's right that Bob's fleeces were quite amazing, but he raises Targhee sheep not Texels. They have a very fine fleece indeed and it has a decent staple length too. That might be a good cross to try on some mules someday.
Yes, winter is definitely here! Keep warm.

Theresa said...

Yeah, Garrett, those S/C are a bit on the "wild side". A very few are tame but most can jump 4+ feet straight in the air from a standsill! Would like to know how their Texel lambs are.

The texel ram we've leased is very calm as well, and his personality is great. It probably helps that he was a show boy. He is loving this winter weather, kicking up his heels when we go in the pen with him and the mules. I'm pretty sure he was done breeding by Thanksgiving but just haven't had time to take him back. So busy!!

Our BFL boy is in with the Shetland rams and there is little pushing and shoving. We've got our best ram pen this year as far as temperaments go - very little "testing" was done. Broderick is a talker - he hollers every morning when I come out the door and wants to make sure that I don't forget to feed the boys! I think the 'talkers' and the 'waggers' - the more friendly rams - are also easier in the ram pens and fight less. I'm one of those that likes friendly sheep, including my rams. Sure makes for easier shepherding!

You need to get some heated auto waters. They save SO much time and energy. I do NOT think that I could work with this many sheep if Jeff had not installed those waterers! I would have had to drastically reduce the flock numbers just to keep up with watering, even with our barn hydrant! I would much rather be inside playing with wool instead of outside carting water in below 0 howling wind weather!

Jenny Holden said...

What naughty sheep! Great that you've got such good hay for them though. Lucky sheep :o) It's pretty darn cold around these parts today, the cars didn't thaw all day and the puddles are frozen. Guess that's nothing compared to what you get!

Kara said...

WILD...tell me about it! Try having a 100% Cheviot ewe. There is a reason that the cross is done the other way! One time (in the beginning) when we were giving CDT shots, we tried to catch them in the pasture before we knew better. Well that Cheviot took out my DH who is just over 6 feet and 195 pounds. Wild and STRONG! My cross wether just went to the butcher. He will be the first that we will have for our table. And our first pelt. He grew well and we affectionately called him Yummy! I will have to see if I can find yours and J's recipes...I know I read them somewhere. Of course you love your sheep, I never doubted that for a second. Have a great holiday!

Alaska Shetland Shepherd said...

And just how cold is it there Garrett? It's -5 here at's SnowCloud looking?

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