Well, it finally had to come to a head. The turf war between Windhaven ovines and caprines heated up to a point that no one was having ANY fun. Feeding time was just a big battle. Everyone was pushing and shoving, gulping down food, acting like bullies. It was the big goats against the little lambs, the momma ewes against the goatie girls and just had to be stopped. We food ladies were sick of being mobbed and also afraid of some of the less forceful members of the flock getting shut out of goodies while the strong got fatter. Something had to give.
So, $40 later and a couple posts, we had an answer. The goat gang was moving to a smaller part of the big paddock. About 1/3 of it. The sheep, numbering many more, were getting the other 2/3rd. Each would have a building for the winter and an exercise pasture. The sheep got the weed patch, which works out lovely because they don’t jump the low spots. Because of the goats, we couldn’t let everyone out! They would bend and step on the fence and wreck it to get into our neighbor’s greenway. But the sheep, they don’t. The goats get the middle yard, which is much more secure for them. We may have to put a heat lamp in the littler goat shack if the temps get super low, but the nice thing is there is electricity there, so it will be easy! And it will keep their heated water bucket close by for them! It’s a perfect set up.
Rafeka is checking out the working tools. He is very careful about all farmyard construction.
Actually, it’s a very good thing because we found that Rana and Rafeka were a little thin. Hard to tell through all that lovely fiber, but they are very soft hearted and I think they were getting pushed aside too much and missing out on goodies. Now, I can make sure they are getting their own feed bucket to share and hay, because the competition in the goat paddock will be far far less.
Buttercup is getting very rotund, a nice healthy fat pack for the coming winter! But that is because she is the QUEEN of the hoofies. She always gets her fair share and more. Now that they are separated, I can make sure she doesn’t over do it. Heck, if she insists on being a bully to the small pack, she can be fed on a lead, snapped to the fence and her own bucket, or she can be put back in with the sheep where they don’t get as rich a feed as the angoras.
Everyone is so excited when Maggie comes out with the feed bucket! Yeah! But it’s so much calmer than before. It works! Wonderful!
Bonnie is suspicious, however. But then she is always suspicious… She is pretty sure they are getting something better than she and her sheep buddies are getting. And she’s right. The goats do get a little richer food now, because angora goats are kind of fragile. They can really suffer in the cold if they don’t have a nice fat layer. They just are a little more, well, delicate. Sheep are more robust. All our sheep look nice, good weight, nice fleeces, ready for breeding and the winter months. They do get a little sweet feed and extras… it’s called flushing. You up the calories for awhile, and they get much more interested in breeding good strong healthy lambs. If they are on thin rations, often they will not cycle or breed poorly, often just singles. We want a nice group of healthy babies, so that means a little more goodies in the feed buckets!
We got this nice big crate for free at the feed store! It had farm equipment in it. I thought it would make a perfect hay feeder and it does! If you can keep their hay in an area, and they can’t walk all over it, they will eat it much more completely. The holes in this crate are large enough that no one gets stuck, yet everyone can eat easily from it. And we can drag it around a little bit, so that the spent hay doesn’t get too high around it. A win win situation, if you ask me.
Evee, the farm dog, in action. She absolutely adores when we move livestock around. And she is almost helpful! About 80% of the time. She’s getting so much better at it! We always give her a chance. She did a great job of moving all the boys to their new digs!
We had to move the little unfixed boys to their new pasture, up front in the ram field. Because to get everyone in the mood, there has to be a little absence… to make the heart grow fonder! And we don’t want accidental hooky pokey going on before the scheduled times. I do not like to lamb in the middle of winter!!! We like to wait until Thanksgiving weekend to introduce our ram to our eligible ladies. So for about 2 months, the boys are up front. They have been settling in so nicely.
They get goodies like pumpkins and apples!
Huldur loves goodies from the slave women!!! More food!!!!
Lukkus, our lovely Finn ram, is going to be the hunk of the year. He is already a good bit taller and robust than his little friends. He is hornless, but that shouldn’t stop him from his duties. (It’s normal for Finns to be polled…) He is such a nice boy, not shovey or pushy at all! I know that he might get a little more attitude after his breeding season, but still, Finn are known to be a little more mellow than Shetland rams. I hope we can keep him around for a good long time. Three years or more for breeding would be wonderful!
And his lovely fleece and beautiful tri coloring is going to look nice on my beautiful Shetland ewes!!! Can’t wait to see next year’s babies!
Well, it was about two weeks ago that we did this big segregation move. And I have to say, it’s been the best thing! Buttercup and her gang are happy, healthy and chubby! And the sheep are so calm and content, it’s wonderful. The ram boys are all just hanging out, eating and packing on a little extra chub for the breeding season. It’s just all good.
Rana and Rafeka are putting on some weight and actually standing up to Sam bit more. I think with all the sheep and Sam, it was just a little too much. But now, it’s just Sam, so they have been standing their ground a bit more and shoving back! Yah!
Of course, Bonnie is still suspicious.
But that is Bonnie.Pin It