Ewes on Vacation

It’s that time of year when families rush to fit one last vacation in before school starts, or one last camping trip before it gets too cold/wet/snowy (depending on location).

For us, because farmers are always thinking months ahead, we're already planning for breeding season. We generally “join” the ram with the ewes around the third week in October. The ram needs his breeding soundness exam and all the breeding animals need their hooves trimmed in preparation. We have to decide which ewe lambs to keep as breeding stock. And perhaps most importantly, our ewes get their well-deserved Mama Vacation!

So today, in the heat of the day (because the kids were napping), Kreg and I sorted the lambs from the ewes. We moved the ewes to fresh pasture at one end of the land, and the weaned lambs to fresh pasture as far as we could the other way.

We made a rookie mistake and miscommunicated on who was closing a gate. Not only that, I assumed another gate was closed....but it wasn't. So all our sorted sheep weren't sorted anymore, and they weren't in the pasture they were supposed to be in. We got to go through the entire exercise again! And it was HOT!

But now, the lambs and the ewes are enjoying a nice pasture where we put them. It is an important time for the ewes to dry up (stop nursing) and replenish body reserves for the coming winter and also the coming breeding season. They are moving leisurely (lambs, just like kids, have a lot of energy and tend to affect the entire flock) and appear to be thoroughly enjoying some time without the kids!

Life on a farm is never dull! It seems so simple and quick on the to-do list, and then it takes half the day! Does that happen to you too?