And Little Lambs Eat Ivy

The recent month of rain made a big mess out of my lamb pasture plan!

ImageI currently have five sheep at my house: Agnes and Ralphie, my bottle-lambs, Doc Watson the ram, my new ram Earl Scruggs and Martha, the new ewe lamb from Pennsylvania.  My plan was to acclimate the newbies so that they feel like part of the flock, and then begin to graze them on a few acres out back.   The field would be hayed in June, and in July it would be growing and tasty.  Done and done.

But the rain made haying in June impossible: the field was too wet and the equipment would tear up the field while any mowed grass would just turn into mouldered muck.  Now, without haying, the grass has gone to seed, which presents a problem for the wool.  The grass seed heads are right at the level of the lambs backs and are designed by nature to lodge in animal fibers.  Seeds in the wool greatly diminish quality and are very difficult to remove.

 

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You can see how high the grass is in contrast to the mowed strip!

Here’s my solution:

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I tried to mow just the seedstalks off using our scythe.  It doesn’t look pretty  but I hope that it will keep the lambs fed.  After they graze, I’ll be able to mow again, more properly.  It will be some extra work, but I am committed to keeping the lamb’s wool nice.

I’ll be eating out in the field, too:

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Tangentially, here’s a thought that I’m toying with:  I’m thinking of calling my sheep Finewool Crossbreds or Merino-Derived Crossbreds instead of listing the breeds in the cross, as in Montadale x Corriedale x Cormo bred to a Merino x Corriedale x Cormo ram to create a melange that I just can’t even assign proportions to.  I just want shepherds and yarn-folks to understand what I’m describing!  Thoughts?

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