Saturday, July 31, 2010
Catching up: Solomon and his 4 wives!
The next addition to our farm were, FINALLY, the Icelandic sheep.
We had been to west Arkansas to visit them on their farm and to get a quick lesson on how to handle them. We were only planning to get three (a ram and 2 ewes) and they had been pre-selected via email. It was our plan to get the three, have them breed in the fall, and then add two more pregnant ewes in the spring. But Greg thought maybe we should get 3 ewes, so Marilyn had selected two nice ones for us to chose from.We spent a couple of hours studying her operation and asking questions (I had a notebook with a couple of pages of questions...and jotted notes almost continuoulsy throughout the visit). I payed for the three I had selected and told her I would get back to her about the rest.
On our way home we discussed getting both of the ones she had shown us, and then not getting two pregnant ones in the spring. We were going to pay her to deliver them, so this would save us a second delivery fee (still no stock trailer here yet), plus, pregnant ewes would cost more, so we would save the money by buying non-pregnant ewes and then letting Solomon take care of that for free!
It was decided, so I sent her a check for the other two and waited for them to be delivered.
They arrived on Monday, June 14th. Marilyn had a look around our place, determined we had a good set-up, and then we unloaded the sheep into the barn. She brought some hay from home, plus some of her own mineral mix.
Over the next couple of days, we weaned them off their minerals onto ours, off their hay onto ours, and then started introducing them to our pastures. They did great. They got aquainted with the donkey (he chased them just a bit at first, but then he settled down), and they did fine together.
When Greg had first seen the sheep, he didn't like them at all. He thought they were ugly, even evil-looking, and he didn't like their horns. But as soon as they arrived, he would just watch them...and the very first day they were here, he said he thought they were kind-of cool. Then, after a couple more days, he said they were really growing on him and he actually thought they were kind-of pretty. Now he talks about growing our flock, buying more ewes, having several different flocks...he's so funny! I knew he'd love them.