Monday, October 01, 2012

It's Fall

Finally we got enough rain to end the summer long burn ban.
Lena trimmed the cedars and cut down a few "eye-catchers"
and we burned a lot of downed sticks that can be
trip hazards in the dark or bad weather.
Autumn means many things. Temperatures get cooler. Days get shorter. Gardens reach their

Here on the farm, it means getting ready for winter. The sheep and goats need a different type of shelter in the winter. When it's hot, they need shade and air flow. When winter comes, they need warm and dry.

Here in the Arkansas Ozarks, we do sometimes get snow, and we get wind, so the shelters need to be able to stand up to whatever weather tantrum nature wants to pitch.

Because the days are shorter in the winter, we will be doing one, or sometimes both chorings in the dark, so it's really nice to have the pens set up in a way that it is easy to feed. Also our ground gets slippery when wet, so having to climb the hill with an arm load of hay, or a bucket of feed needs to be kept to a minimum.

Shawn's still laid up from his sinus surgery, but our fall sheep and goat care still needed to be done, so Lena and I worked hard this weekend. It seemed a little like the Fox and Geese game, because everything had to happen in order to keep the rams away from each other and from the girls they weren't supposed to talk to.

First we built Boomer a nice new BIG pen, so that he can have several girls come live with him.
Dan was in with the whole flock for a bit yesterday. If we have any surprise lambs, they'll be here the end of February, about 147 days from today. But we got him into the Skinny pen with Bones and Mouse, after trimming their toes. We call it the Skinny pen because the back wall of the shelter in that pen is a plywood board that says "Skinny's Barber Shop". We tried to put Demi and Lizzy in with them, but the girls just pushed up the back fence and left. We fixed that, because I want them bred to Dan. I'd love a little ewe lamb that looks like Hagrid. We haven't put the girls back in yet.

The biggest task was moving the Dinosaur (a carport type tent that's been the sheep shelter for about 6 years, thanks to Robin and Summer) from the sheep pen to straddle the fence between the dairy goats and the horse pasture, aka the front yard. Lena cut so many tree limbs to get them out of the way, she's really sore tonight, but we got it moved. Fria, who at 30-years-old deserved comfort for her old horse bones, really likes her "new" shelter. Next weekend, or maybe the next one, we'll put sides on it.

Then we gathered all the tree trimmings of the last year or two and had a big bonfire. While it burned down, we built the new sheep shelter, a double-wide, triple-long hoop house. The sheep seem to love it, I'll take pics in the morning.

Now Lena and I are both tired and sore, but it's a good tired - the kind that comes from a productive weekend and a job well done.

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