Pasture perfect…

That doesn’t exactly describe our pasture, but rather where the animals prefer to be… ;0)
Dugur watching...

Dugur watching...

~Bliss~ enjoying the pasture...

~Bliss~ enjoying the pasture...

~Blush~ eatin' it up...

~Blush~ eatin' it up...

~Butterscotch~

~Butterscotch~

Blue Andalusian hen...

Blue Andalusian hen...

~Breve and Bistro~

~Breve and Bistro~

~Bruno~

~Bruno~

Lambs enjoying...

Lambs enjoying...

A brief mountain snow...

A brief mountain snow...

Soon to happen...spring shearing!

Soon to happen...spring shearing!

Spring Pasture…

With Sundays beautiful weather and the pasture grass up and growing well, we decided that after the sheep had a hardy breakfast of hay to let them out onto green luscious grass.  The sheep were almost in disbelief, wondering if it was to good to be true as they ran out on the grass…

Lambs racing off dry lot to...

Lambs racing off dry lot to...

 

...green fields!

...green fields!

Some of the lambs wouldn’t cross where the electronetting once was, afraid they would get shocked.  They would just stand there at the border and call out for their mamma’s.  After a while they finally worked up enough courage to go out on the strange new green stuff!
Working up the courage to go out onto the pasture...

Working up the courage to go out onto the pasture...

Mark watching sheep, after fixing the fence.

Mark watching sheep, after fixing the fence.

One of each color lamb enjoying grass.

One of each color lamb enjoying grass.

Dugur watching the flock...

Dugur watching the flock...

Butterscotch out enjoying the pasture too!

Butterscotch out enjoying the pasture too!

Sheep on pasture...

Sheep on pasture...

...with the mountains in the background.

...with the mountains in the background.

At night they get moved back behind the electronetting to keep them safe from coyotes and other dogs roaming about.  After loosing 5 sheep last year to coyotes or a mountain lion,  it still makes me nervous even to have them out in the pasture behind 7-strand electric fencing that has 7,000 volts running through it.  It didn’t seem to deter the critter too much from a lamb dinner.  Another thing to make me nervous was the spotting of a  Bald Eagle today while out checking sheep, and then a few minutes later a larger bird flew over that must have been a  Golden Eagle!  ~Yikes!~ 
While it’s unlikely an Eagle would kill and fly away with a lamb, as it sounds like they can only fly with about a 5lb load they could still kill a lamb and feast on it there in the pasture.  Hopefully Dugur will be enough of a discouragement to them, even though he is only a puppy and not quite ready to totally defend the flock on his own yet.

Spring Rain…

We received a much needed spring shower yesterday.  It dribbled on and off for the most part of yesterday, even leaving enough to form puddles and germinate the oats that Mark had no-tilled into the pasture.  It never ceases to amaze me how green everything looks during and right after a good drizzle…

Winter Wheat up and going...

Winter Wheat up and going...

 

The various shades of green around here...

The various shades of green around here...

 

A cool tree bud...

A cool tree bud that opened up after the rain...

Still snow on the mountains...

Still snow on the mountains...

What will come today?

What will come today?

This and That…

Toby the goaty playing king of the hill...

Toby the goaty playing king of the hill...

Araucana cross rooster struttin' his stuff...

Araucana X Barred Rock rooster struttin' his stuff...

 

Gray badgerface Icelandic Sheep grazing at dusk...

Gray badgerface Icelandic ewe grazing at dusk...

 

Dugur dog hangin' out...

Dugur dog hangin' out...

 

Winter wheat coming up in the pasture...

Winter wheat coming up in the pasture...

 

Icelandic Lamb being to cute...

Icelandic Lamb being too cute...

Zayne being cuter!

Zayne being cuter!

Seeding and Harrowing…

On Saturday Mark was able to work the little bit of ground to the west of the house and no-till in some different forages that he had left from last year.  It was perfect timing as Sunday night we had a nice rain, so hopefully the seed will grow and make a more productive area.

Mark no-tilling in some forages...

Mark no-tilling in some forages...

Working the land...

Working the land...

Sawyer and Teigen also did some work in the main pasture today….
Sawyer and Teigen harrowing the pasture...

Sawyer and Teigen harrowing the pasture...

They were able to spread some of the hay out that was matted up from when we started feeding early last fall after we had a mountain lion kill 5  of our sheep.  The harrowing also helps to knock over the stemmy weeds and helps to distribute the sheep manure around.  Next Mark will drill in different forages and break the pasture in smaller paddocks for some intensive grazing.  Our goal is to have different paddocks ready to graze and at there peak through out different time of the grazing year.  Now all we need is a little more rain and some heat to get things growing.
Snow is still covering a lot of the Rocky Mountains, but what a beautiful day outside!

Snow is still covering a lot of the Rocky Mountains, but what a beautiful day outside!

Harrowing away...

Harrowing away...

Rebirth by Fire…

Pasture burning...

Pasture burning...

After Mark returned home from work yesterday and after chores had been finished, we mused over which of the ewes were looking close and who might possibly lamb next.  One of our ewes was needing a CD&T shot, so we headed back to the house to grab a syringe and the vaccine, where Mark picked up a box of matches and decided that this evening would be a good.  Good for what?   To burn a pasture.  There is a small pasture to the front of the house that was covered in tall dead grass and weeds that needed some attention.  It’s not a big piece, triangular in shape and surrounded by the garden on one side and the driveway on the other two sides making it perfect to manage by burning.  If we could get the piece producing it would be big enough to put sheep on and hold them there for a couple of weeks in the spring and then again in the fall.  So the first step tot making this ground more productive happened last night when Mark started burning it.  Mark and Sawyer started burning small areas working their way accross the north side of the field closest to the driveway since that was the way the wind was blowing.  The driveway made a nice natural barrier to stop the fire after it had consumed all the dried grasses and weeds, making it difficult for the fire to get away from them even if the wind did switch directions.  They then moved south working their way across the field again, right behind where they had just finished burning, and continued moving back and forth until the whole piece was finished.
Burnig the old so he new will grow...

Burning the old so the new will grow...

It was sort of funny watching the kids, none of them except for Sawyer knew what was going on.  Some came out of the house all excited and some came out with great concern.  As burning finished,  Mark got on his 4-wheeler and pulled a harrow over the newly burnt field to help spread the ash a little and to help distribute any hot spots that remained.
Mark pulling the harrow through the ash...

Mark pulling the harrow through the ash...

We survived the evening without any mishaps or burning any ones house down!   😉  Our next step will be to no-till in some clover, alfalfa, birdsfoot trefoil and some other forages amongst the grass and wait for it to grow. 
Doesn't look to bad, does it?

Doesn't look too bad, does it?