I’m learning that each season has its preoccupation. In winter, I worried if the snow or ice would keep me from bringing hay to the flock, and during lambing, I worried about lambing. In the early spring, I doubted that the grass would ever start growing (it did), and now I worry how long the grass will last.
Parts of the back fields now have grass tall enough to hide lambs in, but the sheep also manage to chew through it at a fantastic rate. I’m still figuring out how much they eat every day, and constantly doing calculations in my head about sheep-days per acre, and acres of pasture not yet eaten. I usually come to the conclusion that I either will or won’t have enough. The fields here have been overgrazed and underfed for many years, so I’m trying to feed my sheep while still nurturing the pasture back to health (more on this soon).
Several friends and neighbors have offered to let my sheep graze some of their fields for part of the summer, additional grass that makes everything work for my sheep during the early going, but I hadn’t quite figured out how to move my sheep around Sullivan. I have fantasies of walking the flock along public roads to get across town, but I fear neither my herding skills nor the Town of Sullivan is ready for this challenge yet. I have an acquaintance who’s offered to move my sheep in his stock trailer, but at $100 per move, it would be cheaper to feed hay to the flock and keep them home. Earlier this week, Bill Fosher alerted me to an older stock trailer for sale in his town of Surry, and today I brought it home with Bob Jones’s help.
The last step is to sell my little truck so I can buy Bob’s big truck, and then I’ll have the capability to get my sheep wherever there’s grass to be had.