Tuesday, May 03, 2011

It's Spring - Moving Sheep and Lambs

Spring is in full swing here. We've already been to a couple Farmers Markets. You can catch us at the Northampton Tuesday Market this afternoon if you are local. It's opening day there and Ben and Oona (the energetic and inventive farmers behind that great market) have all kinds of fab stuff planned. It's behind Thorne's from 1:30 to 6:30. Music every week, WRSI broadcasting, knife sharpening, bike fixing monthly, and they take food stamps and credit cards!

While most vegetable farmers are busy in their greenhouses and their fields, we are busy moving trailer loads of sheep to fields hither and yon for their spring, summer and fall grazing. It's something that needs to be done and will take us about three weeks to complete the job. First we have to corral them in our mobile sheep unit outside their winter barns. They then have to be sorted into lambs and breeding ewes. 

One by one, The Farmer catches them and sends them down a short chute while I let them into the holding area. After we catch 16 adults, we tempt them onto the trailer with a little grain, close up the back and drive a few miles to the fields they will graze until next November. 

Unfortunately we can't move them all on the road at the same time like we do in the fall. It would be chaos because the moms wouldn't want to leave their babies and it is time for the babies to be weaned.

The fence is all set and electrified high on the hill on a neighbor's land. The sheep instinctively know where they are and what they are in for. The ewes have been doing this for years and I think they really look forward to the green grass and freedom. 

Out they come.....

...... heads down grazing as they move to join their friends.

Another batch done.... Thank you Nessie for your help!

I doubt they recognize the beautiful views like we do though. 


laurie said...

Great Pic of Farmer and Dog!

Missouri Gal said...

Wonderful photos and the woods are so pretty.

Rae said...

Holy cow, that's a lot of sheep! Great pictures!

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