Thursday, March 13, 2008

Make Way for Lambing Time

I finished cleaning out the barn today, and we started getting ready to build the new lambing pens in the newly cleaned area.

To get the lumber for the new pens, Ken disassembled the sheep shelter that the wind destroyed last week, while I disassembled some wood-and-wire-mesh fence panels I had built when we first moved here. Those 2x4s plus a couple of extra metal goat panels are all we need for this design.

Once the new pens are built, I'll finish getting the place set up with my sleeping area, lambing kit, lights, etc., plus bedding, hay, and water buckets for the sheep. There's only about a week left until I have to start keeping watch for ewes that are going to go into labor soon. Paris, my milkiest ewe, already has a large udder, even though she's not due until April 9.

To help the sheep start getting used to the idea of being in there, I left the gates and doors open so they could wander in and out while I was cleaning up all the old spilled hay chaff on the floor. A lot of the sheep came right in and started eating the hay. Others peered in the door from outside and bleated, not daring to come in. Still others came in to explore but got nervous and ran back out again every time they heard a noise.

Since I want the sheep to be as relaxed as possible in the lambing pens, it's important for them to be able to see the place and explore a little bit ahead of time, so they don't think they're being dragged off someplace terrible when the time comes for me to put them in there to lamb.

No comments: