In a more perfect world, if I were a more perfect shepherd, I’d move the sheep to new grass the instant they had sufficiently grazed their previous paddock.  In the real world, I’m grateful to have a stockpile of hay.

bale feeder 20171104-2259

The sheep had eaten through the lower pasture on a Friday night when I got home late from Boston.  I figured I needed at least 2 hours to set up their new grazing area and move them across the farm, and I had about 45 minutes of daylight left.  Cass can do many things, but precisely moving sheep that she can’t see exceeds her current abilities; thankfully the tractor has headlights, and I was able to bring over one of last year’s round bales and get the bale feeder set up well after dark.  The hay bought me 24 hours of grace, and I got everyone moved to real grass this evening.


I was also excited to try out a new style of bale feeder, one that will hopefully be a little more sheep-friendly than the one I was using last year.  The Premier feeder I was using last year was configured so that some of the sheep rubbed their necks raw reaching in for baleage.

sheep with raw neck-4461The new feeder seems like it couldn’t cause this, though I suspect it will have its own dammit features.

bale feeder 20171104-2251

So far, no problems.  I’m hoping that the feeders won’t get deployed in earnest — at the end of the grazing season, either when I run out of grass or it’s too buried in snow — for a month or more.