Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Pasture Management and Ninki's First day

Yesterday it seems the grass finally started growing. Time to get the sheep on it and eating. Up until now the sheep were a bit restricted from the pasture, eating hay instead. We usually have to feed during the late summer (too dry, no grass growth) and winter (too dark, too cold). So right now, YIPEEE time for fresh, green grass.

We practice a modified "management intensive grazing" at our place. We have broken up our approx. 6 acre pasture into a series of smaller paddocks using a nauseating system of electric wires. This is suppose to keep the sheep in where we want them and off other paddocks so they can recover and grow. The sheep are suppose to know this. Well this is the first experience with electric fences for many of the lambs. What we hope for is that they touch the wire with their wet nose (I know it sounds mean), they get a powerful ZAP, and there they have learned the lesson for life, that is, stay on your side of the wire. If they do not learn it that way then we have a few problems. In reality, a sheep with a full coat of fleece, could easily bolt through the fence and feel nothing at all as long as they move fast enough (please don't tell my sheep). If they learn it as described above, we will have a nice working relationship for years to come. Having been witness yesterday, I believe most have learned it. Let's cross our fingers to be sure.

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