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.
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.
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.