But clean up of the filthy net is something I absolutely hate. I am not strong enough to lift the wet manured hay net off the ground, so I must get the skid steer and pick it up with the forks. Then I can find the end and loosen the ties and get the spoiled hay out of the net. I have to get the animals out of the way first though, so they need to be sent to another pen. That is easy now, since the other pens are empty, however, they will shortly be occupied with breeding pairs. Then I will have to take my chances that the critters will know enough to get out of the way. If I bring a new bale of hay or feed them in the feeder that should keep their interest long enough for me to deal with the hay. I still will have to open and close one gate that will have some animals in it that should not intermingle with the animals in the pen. Now, rethinking that plan, if I leave the sheep rams in the pen who are not breeding and put breeding goats in the first pen, if the goats do get in with the sheep, I won't have major problems.
So, tomorrow when I get home from work, the task at hand will be to pick up the filthy crapped on net and empty, refill it will a clean bale, remove the twines and then bring it in for the rams. It is also time for me to split them up into breeding groups, but I will need some assistance with that task. Hooves will need trimming and checks for worming need doing. I am trying to keep sheep that manage their worm loads on their own. The ones I do not keep are the ones that are always needing to be treated, like the Blue Faces Leicesters.
I have plenty of hay for the winter, based on previous year's usage, though in those years without the nets, I would venture to say that up to 50% was wasted by the sheep and goats. This year that might be cut right down to 10% and that alone is worth the consternation and trouble associated with the changeover of the nets. With hay costing $150 per bale this year, the reduction in waste will make this hobby farming manageable, I think.
So, tomorrow, the grungy, gross task awaits me when I get home from work. Sigh. I am trying to think of the positive aspects, the hay saved, the money saved, the happy sheep and so on to muster the determination to do a job which I do not relish in the least. Got any suggestions?