In the meantime, they are fed hay in a hay net. The hay in the net is this years, but due to the lack of rain, it is quite dry and brittle. I should have it tested to see if it has any food value so I know what to supplement the sheep and goats with this winter.
The hay nets are supposed to keep the fleece clean. Jim inisted on rubbing against the net continuously though, which resulted in lots of hay in his fleece, exactly what the nets are promoted to prevent. Timmy is fine because he did not rub against the net and his fibre is clean. Angora goats produce mohair fibre. It has been my constant struggle to try to keep the fleece clean enough to sell the wool to handspinners. The nets were supposed to be my answer.
So, I adjustted the net after filling it the second time, so it rests on the ground and the ram cannot get himeself underneath it and rub. He is in quarantine, a precaution taken when new sheep or goats or any animal arrives to the farm. I did not do it last winter and the sheep got keds from a new addition, so now I am diligent about watching for any signs. Before the new ram is admitted to the flock he will be dewormed just in case. He appears 100% healthy and strong, thank goodness. He is a cutey too.
Now the net is on the ground, I will observe how Jim and Tim do with the hay on their bodies. Hopefully I have learned a valuable lesson about where the net should be in relation to the smallest animal eating from it - on the ground. For the large round bales, that is how it must be, so it would not have been an issue. With the small nets then, they need to be hung low. This probably mimics eating from the ground anyhow and is likely better somehow for the ruminants. Now, how do I get that hay out of his beautiful soft lamb fleece? Grrrrr!