My friend Denise Leonard and I drove to St. Johnsville, New York, yesterday to pick up some lovely ewes — North Country Cheviots, for the most part — from Barbara Leverett’s Long View Farm. Barb had about 40 ewes in the barn so that we could choose the ones we wanted, 15 for me and 3 for Denise. I’m still new at this sheep-judging thing, so I needed an unreasonable number of iterations to narrow down the group to the right number, and in the end, we still had too many (I ended up buying 16 ewes). I’m also new at marking sheep with spray paint — I was supposed to put a dot on the shoulder for easy sorting, but ended up with marks all over, including the poor ewe I sprayed in the eye.
Because Barb and Denise know what they’re doing, the trailer-loading went quickly and smoothly, with Barb working the gate, Barb’s dog giving the sheep a little motivation, and Denise making sure that nothing got screwy at the trailer end.
I had hoped to get home while there was still some light to unload the ewes at my place, but everything o do with livestock takes longer than I think, and I rolled home a couple of hours after dark. I was still thinking I should try to move the sheep into the field I had (mostly) ready for them, but Bill convinced me of my folly (I suspect he was anticipating the desperate call from me at midnight about sheep all over the road…). With help from my friend Wendy, we got the new gals into their temporary home this morning without too much fuss.
They’ll hang out here, eating baleage, for a week or two of quarantine until I’m reasonably sure they don’t have any communicable nastiness. Then I’ll move them up to the winter fortress, weigh them, and send them off to join the rest of the flock in their second Tour of Sullivan.