Sheep Back Together Again

I previously posted about our ram troubles. Joshua and I had sequestered Buck in his own enclosure so he couldn’t bother the ewe who wasn’t wanting his attention and so he couldn’t be aggressive towards Baby Jeebus 2. One attempt to move Buck back in with the ewes didn’t go well. Joshua and I had been talking about our options but hadn’t come to any conclusions yet.

Then it rained all day Sunday and the rain is going to continue through Wednesday. Buck’s temporary home doesn’t have any shelter other than some tree cover. One day of rain is okay. Four days of being stuck in the rain is over our line for how we want to treat our animals. As of yesterday morning, we either had to put all the sheep back together where they can share the shed, or we had to build Buck his own shelter. Not doing any construction in the rain won, and we moved Buck back in with the ewes.

We made the main enclosure a bit bigger. Our hope was that the extra space would give the ewes and lamb more room to run away from Buck if they needed to and the extra bit of new grass to munch on would distract them all from bothering each other. We also hoped that the rain had worn Buck down a bit. When Buck went in with the other sheep, he immediately started chasing the ewes around, but he wasn’t nearly as aggressive about it as he was the last time. For whatever reasons, they were all getting along much better. Whew. That means we can probably leave them all together for the rest of the winter, which is a bit of a relief.

I went out to check on the sheep several times during the day, and I frequently found them all hanging out together in the shed, tucked in out of the rain.

Over the weekend, Joshua built the sheep a hay feeder. We’d been feeding them out of a horse feeder that came with our barn, but it doesn’t really hold enough hay. We were either feeding them several times during the day (annoying!) or failing to feed them several times a day, leaving them without hay now and then. The other alternative, which we’ve been doing for a few days, is to just put the hay on the ground. That makes a lot of waste, though. So Joshua built them a feeder which will let us give them plenty of hay for the day and cut way down on the amount of hay that gets wasted. I’m always impressed when Joshua builds these things. He banged these out in just a couple of hours: