Hot weather has driven our pasture management procedures more than the state of the grass. Instead of moving the sheep to the grass that most needs to be grazed, we have had to select areas that provide sufficient shade to make the sheep comfortable.
A newly seeded area near the house had a few trees and looked like a good place to the move the sheep to. This was a mistake. The sheep aggressively ate the grass and clover down to the dirt before we realized what was happening. We quickly set up electric netting back by the woods at the rear of the pasture and moved the sheep away from the damaged area.
A problem with the sheep grazing back by the woods is that between a rise in terrain and tall weeds and grass between the house and woods, we cannot enjoy watching the sheep from our breakfast table; they are out of sight. We can see the sheep from upstairs, but even then they can disappear into the darkness of the woods.
We have clipped the pasture. We did so all at once because that was more efficient. It also meant that none of the grass was truly ready to be grazed again so we kept them on the move allowing only a day or two on any one area and kept the areas rather large.
The brown wether broke a horn. Fortunately, the wethers have only undeveloped horns, called scurs, which did not seem to bleed much. A web search confirmed our assessment that the wound was not particularly serious, but it would be a good idea to provide protection from flies that like to lay eggs in open wounds. A call to Betty confirmed this and she loaned me some Blu-Kote to apply.
Karen was out-of-town, but Ray thought he could apply the treatment without assistance. This turned out to be mostly true except the container and dauber used up two hands leaving none to hold the sheep. The result — gentian violet dye splashing onto his hands and the sheep. Ray discovered the interesting characteristic of gentian violet that it does not wash out. Ray will have blue hands for a couple of days. More…