Grazing Right Along…

Where the line was drawn...

Where the line was drawn...

 

We intensively graze our pastures.  Using electronetting, we make a small paddock and turn the sheep loose for a couple of days and then move them onto the next patch of grass.  We have found that just letting them loose on the entire pasture, they are a lot more picky about what they eat and overgraze in certain areas while hardly touching others.  Using this method they still pick and choose, eating the best stuff first but in the end it looks like a lawn mower has sculpted the area leaving it neatly trimmed.  The above photo was taken in their most recent grazing area. We turned them loose in half of the winter wheat pasture that was looking a bit weedy, we are a bit curious to see how well this area will come back  and what it will look like in comparison with the rest of the wheat this fall.  Also turning them out in the weedier half of the pasture helped to mow back those plants before they set seed and spread.  While we would like to say we have perfect pastures we will openly admit it something that is always in the works around here and being constantly re-evaluated and the dynamics are always changing based on a number of things.  Right now we  are battling Wormwood, Knapweed and some Downy Brome or commonly known as Cheatgrass (which is a bad word around here!) and are trying different control measures on them.  The sheep seem to love eating the Knapweed and will eat the Wormwood when young and will eat the Cheatgrass, which before it set seed is great but once it set seed is not so good…

Last night while moving the sheep onto their next rotation I was taking pictures of lambs and noticed something wrong with this guy…

What's wrong with this guy?

What's wrong with this guy?

 

My initial thought was that something must have chewed on his face.  When  we finally caught him,(darn things are sooo fast!)  he looked pretty gross… (Don’t look if easily bothered by ickiness!)

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6 a.m. phone calls…

Who would be calling at 6 a.m.?  The post office to let us know our “box a birds” was in and could be please come pick them up?  We ordered 67 chicks and received 71, not too bad!  We ordered 55 straight run Cornish x Rock with 2 extra free ones, 3 Black Star hens with one extra freebie, 3 Light Brahama hens, 3 Silver Laced Wyandotte hens, 3 Black Austrolorp hens and of course our free rare and exotic chick. 

 

Here they all are...

Here they all are...

Zayne was very excited to see all the little peepers...

Zayne was very excited to see all the little peepers...

Teigen wanted to help too!

Teigen wanted to help too!

Tori with a couple...

Tori with a couple...

Cowboy Hayden with a chick...

Cowboy Hayden with a chick...

Garrett in chick heaven...

Garrett in chick heaven...

Maddie with a cutie...

Maddie with a cutie...

After unpacking them the kids carefully give them a drink...

As they are unpacked the kids carefully give them a drink...

and then put them in their pen with a heat lamp and plenty of food.
These Brahamas are one of my favorites... notice the fuzzy feet?

These Brahmas are one of my favorites... notice the fuzzy feet?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
On another note….
Another beautiful sunset...

Another beautiful sunset...

Friday Farm Daze…

Catching up on this last week…
The remains of a Red Star hen after the fox got it...

The remains of a Red Star hen after the fox got it...

We have a puffy Buffy (Buff Orpington), ready to set.  She's even puffy when on the occasion she gets out to eat!

We have a puffy Buffy (Buff Orpington), ready to set. She's even puffy when on the occasion she decides to go out to eat!

Which leads to a happy rooster, normally he's kept away from the ladies cause he gets so mean and the boys will not go anywhere near the hen house!

Which leads to a happy rooster, normally he's kept away from the hens cause he gets so mean and the boys will not go anywhere near the hen house!

Plants waiting to get into the garden this weekend.

Plants waiting to get into the garden this weekend.

Narcissus blooms...

Narcissus blooms...

Dark sunset...

Dark sunset...

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbages planted and nicely mulched (2 rows of 12/row each)

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbages planted and nicely mulched (2 rows of 12/row each)

Strawberries weeded and getting big with blooms, need to mulch this weekend.

Strawberries weeded and getting big with blooms, need to mulch this weekend.

Hummingbird caught in the house and released back outside...

Hummingbird caught in the house and released back outside...

An assortment of Eagles circling above...we had four all at once yesterday!

An assortment of Eagles circling above...we had four all at once yesterday!

 

Oats coming up in the pasture...

Oats coming up in the pasture...

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.

Friday Farm Daze…

Catching up on this week…

Last nights cotton candy clouds...

Last night's cotton candy clouds...

A Cuckoo Maran hen, who lays beautiful chocolate eggs...one of my fav's!

A Cuckoo Maran hen, who lays beautiful chocolate eggs...one of my fav's!

Bee food...a pretty apple blossom

Bee food...a pretty apple blossom

Us in color...

Us in color...

Big Mountain...

Big Mountain...

More busy bees...

More busy bees...

Smiling lamb...

Smiling lamb...

Todays foggy morning...

Today's foggy morning...

Still waiting…

While we are still waiting for one more ewe to lamb, the rest of lambs keep getting bigger and bigger…
Here's a comparison picture of the biggest and smallest lambs...

Here's a comparison picture of the biggest and smallest lambs...

Bistro vs. Black Licorice

A new picture of Breve

A new picture of BreveI love Bistro's coloring, it will be neat to see what is color is later...

More lambs...

More lambs...

Happy Tails at feeding time!

Happy Tails at feeding time!

Teigen saw this picture and said that he was barfing!

Teigen saw this picture and asked why he was barfing!

Chicken Love…

What’s not to love about chickens?
(Besides mean roosters!)
Teigen, Bellah and Mrs Rhodey

Teigen, Bellah and Mrs Rhodey

With their new additions the boys have been busy collecting eggs…
Hayden checking for eggs...

Hayden checking for eggs...

They've been busy washing and sorting eggs too!

They've been busy washing and sorting eggs too!

And simpley loving them- Don't ya know chickens need hugs too!

And simpley loving them- Don't ya know chickens need hugs too!

(Don’t ya love this picture Sawyer took?)
Egg Count:

Egg Count:

16 Eggs Today

Babies…

These babies were checking each other out the other morning while I did chores…
Hmmm...

Hmmm...

Zayne had started to cry while waiting for me to hurry up and finish feeding,  when these two fur balls came over to check on him…
What are you?

What are you?

I guess everything was really ok, based on all the smiles!   🙂
Too cute!

Too cute!

Dogs Busy at Play…

Here’s a recent picture of Dugur (our Great Pyrenees LGD) and Bellah (our blue merle Australian Shepherd)together…

Dugur and Bellah

Dugur and Bellah

 

See how much Dugur has grown in the last couple of months…

Dugur and Bellah in January

Dugur and Bellah in January

 

 Dugur will wait at his spot in the pasture every morning for Bellah  to come up in the morning with me to do chores.  The two goof balls rough house and chase one another until one or the other has had enough and comes up to the barn to check what’s going on up there. 

They were too funny playing together today…

Playing together...
Playing together…

 

Dugur catching some air...

Dugur catching some air...

 

Bell and Dugur rough housing...

Yikes...

And Sawyer took the sky picture today, what do you think…
Possible thunder boomers today?

Possible thunder boomers today?

Friday Farm Daze…

Catching up on the week…

 

Sisters and best friends...

Sisters and best friends...

 

The making of Smores...

The making of Smores...

The start to a beautiful thing...

The start to a beautiful thing...

 

Teigen and Dash hanging out...

Zayne and Dash hanging out...

 

A brief glimpse of the sun...

A brief glimpse of the sun...

 

Enjoying their new freedom...

Enjoying their new freedom...

 

Sawyer and Hayden going through the slush...

Sawyer and Hayden going through the slush...

Dugur keeping his vigilant watch...

Dugur keeping his vigilant watch...

Mom's are fun jungle gyms...

Mom's are fun jungle gyms...

Tori's Indian Runner Duck...

Tori's Indian Runner Duck...