I moved half the ewes the other day, along with two rams, the little Babydoll and the big Tunis. It was my intention to use the beautiful BFL ram as the clean up ram, but I cannot handle him on my own at all, and do not even want to try. The Tunis ram is a pussycat in comparison and he was already in with the Tunis girls, then he went in with the Cotswold ewes when I put the group together and finally, the Babydolls. The Babydoll ram tried to push the Tunis around and although Thomas Tunis did not fight with the little fellow, he is only about a third of the size of Thomas. So, he basically ignored him. Still, I needed to get him out of there. Well, it just so happened that he got himself in a section where I could close the gate, move the ewes and then deal with him later.
I locked him up, put up the livestock panels to direct the sheep, and tied Robbie up this time, since he was way more trouble for me than help last time, sending the sheep back to their pen instead of where I wanted them to go. The sheep were very cooperative, most of them remembering their pen from previous years and walked directly over to it. I simply opened the gate and they waltzed in with Thomas.
I had to move the Babydoll ram lambs that spent the winter with the goats because they are too small to go in with the mature rams, and move Bob, who was in with the goats for a bit too. Bob is doing so much better, I do have hope he will make it through this winter! I caught Ross, who is Rosy's little fellow and has the sweet gentle disposition of Rosy and Randy followed Ross, I shoved Ross into the barn and then out the door and the two of them can stay with the ewes for a while until breeding or they are sold. Then I looked for Bob, who had toddled off.
I could not find him. Where on earth could a large sheep go? Well, it turned out the rams were quite interested in a corner they do not normally pay attention to. I looked there and did not see Bob. I hunted around the rest of the farmyard. The gates were closed so he had to be within. I went to the corner where the rams were congregated and sure enough, Bob had gotten into the farmhouse yard through the only gate he possibly could have and then went by the farmhouse into the summer rabbit pen and was happily munching the alfalfa sticking up through the snow. On went his halter and I simply led him to the ewe pen, where he was very happily checking the girls to see if they were bred.
To make sure Bob was not cold I brought in 4 large bales of straw and put them in the open shelter and the shed shelter. Bob could choose either one in which to curl up in for the night. I have to work tomorrow as a substitute teacher, so won't see the sheep until an hour before dark. They got mineral, salt and extra hay today to ensure they were happy until I could tend to them tomorrow.
Getting work done is always satisfying, especially when it is over! But, oh, I still had to move the large bales of hay. I started the skid steer and moved 6 large hay bales and was ready to call it a day, but Gen and Jewel were asking for more water. I hauled 3 buckets, but the piggies wanted another drink too, so they got some and the ewes got the rest. It is cold tonight, with temperatures near minus 20, but if feels colder. I think every critter is comfortable and happy and I am glad that I was able to do everything myself. I got it done.