Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The FRUGAL Shepherd...

This is my front yard. These are my lawn mowers!

This has been such a cool, damp Spring that the grass is way behind and I really can't afford to buy more hay so I'm rotating my flock to where ever there is grass for them to graze! The front yard was getting long so that was the first stop on the buffet. The nice thing about doing this is that I not only save money on feed ~ I don't have to buy GAS for the lawn mower!

Once the girls had the front yard tidied up, we moved down to the ditch by the road.

Bella was a huge help in keeping the girls and their lambs IN the ditch and not on the road! This is a time-consuming way to feed one's flock but there was something deeply satisfying about standing there, with my dog and my crook, watching over my flock.

Satisfying as that may be, I did break down and buy some more step in posts and electric wire and have now put up temporary fencing to keep the sheep OUT of my shrubs and flowers so that I don't have to stand there all the time when they are in the yard. I don't have enough to do the ditch yet but plan on picking up more this week and will at least be able to fence in half the ditch at a time so that I can rotate them down there without having to stand guard all the time.

Another way that I felt real good about saving money this Spring was during lambing. I ran out of straw and needed clean bedding for the jugs. I simply raked up the sun bleached left over hay that was strewn about the pasture and it made wonderful bedding! Clean and dry and it even LOOKED pretty! I was proud of myself for getting double the use out of my hay: feed and bedding! Makes me feel a little bit better for the price we have to pay for the stuff..... ;-)

Rapidly growing lambs:

Moon Shadow and Sunshine (moorit & mioget)

My lovely Zaria with her incredibly handsome son Bling:

Zodiak's triplets!

2008's last lamb of the season, Bluff Country Bounty Hunter!

And a very special BLAST FROM THE PAST:

Zodiak with baby Dream and her twin sister Make A Wish in May of 2006!

All together now....AAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!


  1. I know the feeling Nancy! I've been making the rams take turns being staked out in the back yard so I didn't have to spend so much gas (and time) mowing. Whenever I'm driving, I always look longingly at all the huge ditches with tall grass that is going to waste and think it is such as shame.

  2. I am still waiting for Tsunami's daughter, Lucy, to have her lamb. Tsunami did not settle this year. I am still feeding hay, but I have the advantage of growing it here. I just have the one ram lamb with the rectangular shaped horns.

  3. I'm with ewe, Nancy! With hay going for $20/bale here (a large bale) we've been trying to cut back any way we can. I have gone to pasture w/some hay, but mostly counting on grass hay pellets as there's no waste. I'm tired of picked through poor hay blowing around in the wind.
    This winter I figure 'bout half the hay I bought went uneaten due to poor quality. The pellets are the same bag-to-bag so I can count on the nutrition being there. I just wish we had more rain to have nice pastures like you have.

    Way to go, Pardner!

  4. I've never bought straw before this year when I bought 4 bales. I've always used the leftover hay as bedding all these years. But this year feeding the alfalfa left very little waste, so I had to buy straw. Now I also noticed their hooves need trimming again already - they were just done two months ago. Must be due to the alfalfa hay diet. Now the alfalfa is all gone and I'm back to low quality grass hay with lots of waste. I wish we had lush grass like yours here.

  5. I've used wasted hay in the past too, Becky, but found it to decompose quickly and not smell good! I usually try to use straw in the jugs but frequently run out and this sun bleached leftover stuff was just such a handy solution. It was thoroughly dried, so didn't decompose and I was particularly pleased with how nice it looked! I know ~ that sounds silly, but I do like the looks of new lambs in a fresh, clean, bright jug. I am an awfully 'visually focused' person, aren't I???! One wouldn't think so to see my HOUSE!!!

  6. Lucy had flashy twins. Need help with color and markings. See blog.

  7. I really like the photo of Moon Shadow and Sunshine; it illustrates their colors perfectly!

  8. Thanks, Michelle. I'm really enjoying having a mioget lamb. I've never had this color before and am absolutely amazed at how beautiful she is! Literally, like Sunshine! l



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