Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Grass is Greener...

... on the other side.

The Khatadins and their lambs finally head out to pasture after a long winter.

Moving a flock with young lambs the first time is always a task requiring special care as it is easy for the lambs to get spooked and bolt through a fence. The easiest way to move them for me is to set up portable fencing lanes as necessary to make sure there is only one choice for movement on offer. Here you can see I've run such a temp fence up to the gate post so that their only choice on offer is to go through the gate - the area they are passing though is a big square yard with a pond in the middle and 6 gates to different areas.

They are looking pretty happy. And I'm looking pretty happy too - no lambs got separated off or panicked. A smooth move is the payoff for some basic prep work in advance.

The Shetlands are still in their separate barn yard with Bonnie. They will hang there until the shearer has come and gone, hopefully this weekend. And then the two flocks will be combined. In the meantime I'm hoping my 5 wire electric fence will provide sufficient deterrence to the local coyotes. 


  1. So now of course I have to google khatadins and get the low down on that breed....they have quite large long tails, don't they? When you shear your sheep, you keep the fleeces separate and have them spun up by colors, right? Do you ever sell your fleeces or roving? I like to hand spin. Blogless Mary Lou

  2. So I see they are a breed of hair sheep that shed naturally so you must do business selling lamb and mutton in addition to your spinning, correct?

    1. My Shetland flock is too small for efficient grazing of my paddock sizes, and they had very few female lambs. The genetics are excellent so I didn't want to muddy the pool buying in new Shetlands. My friend with Khatadins retired in the fall so I bought some of his ewes to make up the grazing numbers. As the Shetlands increase I'll swap out the Khatadins.

      That's the plan, anyway. I must say they are throwing beautiful lambs, and many of them, and they are easy to handle. My current concern: since they are a 'hair' sheep, they shed. I hope I don't find their (crappy) fibre getting stuck into my Shetland fleeces!

  3. Maybe the birds can use the crappy fiber for their nests. Do you shear your own sheep? Is it hard to find shearers? My friends own alpacas here in Florida and there is only one young lad who does the shearing.

  4. Shearing is a (much) younger man's job. I wouldn't say we have an excess of shearers, but neither are we short. Some of the older shearers ran training lessons the past few years and as a result there are some younger men entering the profession.