The new sheep arrived Monday, already sheared and naked.
First, meet Mary. She is a about a year old and she has a super sweet personality.
Next was the business of getting my other four sheared. The original shearer I was going to hire (from NC) couldn't make it. Luckily I found a shearer who was in the area (from Augusta) and was willing to stop here.
We had to bring the ram, Whiskey Creek, across the property and lock him up in the paddock where we were going to shear. We decided he should be sheared first.
We also sheared the lambs since their fleece has grown quite thick and it will be a hot summer here. It also gets them used to being sheared and handled.
The little guys did great and only tried to escape a few dozen times!
I took four sheets outside and wrapped each sheeps' fleece in a sheet. I then started to sort and separate good fleece from really yucky fleece. The good fleece will get washed and set out to dry.
It's a daunting task! I didn't realize how much fleece these sheep can grow! What's more, I never realized how much lanolin was tucked into the fleece! I have spent the last few evenings working first Sarah's fleece.
This is Sarah's fleece washed and dried so far. I still have a little more to go and then I will work on Whiskey Creek's.
Needless to say, by the time the day had ended I was exhausted.
The farm in general has been hopping busy this week!
The pasture chicks are still in brooders but they are growing and will be outside in another week or so. I have to make sure we have dry weather in the forecast as rain can be fatal for baby birds.
Speaking of rain, we had 28 inches for the month of April! The ground here is saturated and starting to flood a bit.
This flooded area is actually where I usually keep the cows and sheep. Well, until it all dries up I decided to keep the sheep in the wooden fenced area and I used electric fence to move Lucy and Belle into the back yard.
Temporary electric fencing is wonderful to have with cows. It's easy to move and it's inexpensive. I just move the fence a little each day so that they are forced to graze their given area well.
I also opened the chicken coop door so the hens could easily get out to scratch and clean up cow patties. The cows are dry and happy and the yard needs less machine mowing. The muscadine vines took a bit of a beating (Belle loves them) but I don't mind much.
I am happy to have a plan, especially since we are expected to get 4-6 inches of rain this weekend!
Maybe we should just build an ark!
We also started working the garden this week. Normally we plant in mid-April, but the weather here just can't decide if it wants to be warm or cold. Yesterday seemed like a great day to get the beds and planters filled with flowers and the garden sowed with a few seeds. Here's hoping the weekend rain doesn't drown everything.
The younger girls helped me with all of these plants and they are planning to do this on a larger scale next year. I, of course, support the idea because I love that they are learning how to garden!
Finally, the honey supers are all in place on top of the strongest hives. I am not sure what this crazy weather will mean for a honey crop, but I supered the hives and will wait and see.
There is quite a bit of clover blooming here, both red and white, and the tulip poplars are starting to open up as well.
It has been a week of long days and late nights, but we are seeing the fruits of our labors and that makes it worthwhile.
Here's hoping for a weekend of rest! Stay dry my friends!!!!