Flock time: plenty of sunrises, no lambs

I thought it was time to give you an update on our flock of sheep! You may remember the competition I ran a few months back, inviting you to name the unnamed members of our flock of six sheep. The unnamed mule was christened Yarn (although we still call her lambikins), while the two ouessant ewes are Miss Ewe and Kiss Ewe. I introduced them all to you here.

A panorama of the farm, the top field.
A panorama of the farm from the top field.

The Flock

Our flock has grown! We took delivery of two wethers, which are castrated male sheep, just before Christmas. These guys are also ouessants, and brothers to Miss Ewe and Kiss Ewe. Toby and John were given the task of naming them, and came up with two sets: “Hiphopopotamus” and “Rhyme-enoceros”, or “Rambo” and “Ramsay”. Mum went for the musical names, and Rambo and Ramsay have been reserved for when the flock contains actual rams.

Four ouessants and a mule. You can see the horns of the two wethers.
Four ouessants and a mule. You can see the horns of the two wethers.

The eight of them now live together peacefully in our two fields. They were separated from each other for a while, mules in one field and ouessants in the other, but we put them together before long as it was a pain in the backside having them in different fields.

We have quite the daily routine – whoever gets up first goes to feed the chickens and guinea fowls, and then to feed the sheep. Strictly speaking, sheep don’t need supplementary food, but with four of the flock potentially pregnant, and a need to control them, we have trained them to follow a yellow bucket. This makes moving them around a little easier, as they’re all so excited by the thought of the food in the bucket that they will follow whoever is holding it quite easily.

Two flocks - sheep and guinea fowl!
Two flocks – sheep and guinea fowl!
The flock of sheep being fed by mum. Guineas in the background.
The flock of sheep being fed by mum. Guineas in the background.

They then spend their days in the fields, either above the farm or below it. I prefer it when they are in the field below, as I can see them from my bedroom window and as I walk around the house and garden. Their very busy days involve either grazing, talking to the herd of deer who inhabit the bottom of the field, ruminating in the sun, or more likely huddled beneath the hedges hiding from the rain. In the evening they may get another handful of food, and will occasionally be ushered into the stables if the weather is predicted to be particularly bad.

View of the sheep from my window! There's a pheasant hanging out with them too.
View of the sheep from my window! There’s a pheasant hanging out with them too.
The mules crowded around a feed bucket.
The mules crowded around a feed bucket.
Dad feeding the sheep, with the wethers in the background not entirely sure what is going on.
Dad feeding the sheep, with the wethers in the background not entirely sure what is going on.

Spending time with the sheep is pleasant, particularly in the morning just as the sun is rising. The joy of nature, crofting and the passage of time is at the forefront of my mind whenever I do this! They are a friendly lot, and even get on quite well with Chase, who is obsessed with them (as he should be).

We have been on high alert for lambs since Christmas. The four mules used to live with a ram, and we are not sure when to expect little bundles of joy, or even how many. Lambing is a concept I am thinking of with some trepidation, and it seems scary right now. I’m sure once we’ve actually been through it, things will seem a lot easier!

Lavender in a beautiful sunrise.
Lavender in a beautiful sunrise.
Angelica in the sunrise.
Angelica in the sunrise.

I’ll let you know how we get on – I’m particularly looking forward to shearing!

Much love,

Corrie xx

Yarn AKA Lambikins figured out that this is the best way to hog all the food!
Yarn AKA Lambikins figured out that this is the best way to hog all the food!
This has its fair share of problems, however...
This has its fair share of problems, however…
Victory! Time to gorge on all that food.
Victory! Time to gorge on all that food.

Shared with: Crochet Addict, Gracey’s Goodies, EyeLoveKnots, Oombawka Design, iknead2knit, The Winthrop Chronicles, Yarn Along, Oh My Heartsie Girl, Wool on Sundays

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2 Responses to Flock time: plenty of sunrises, no lambs

  1. Janine says:

    Your sheep are beautiful! I miss having sheep although our field is more like a swamp this year so it’s probably not a bad thing, I hope you have some lambs. Do you house your guinea fowl or do they roost out and do you have trouble with foxes? I’ve heard they are great for pest control and don’t damage vegetables but we’ve had several fox attacks on chicken and ducks despite having a very secure run so I’m nervous of letting anything stay out at night. Thank you very much for linking up with Wool on Sundays :)

    • Corrie Berry says:

      The field is rather a swamp! The guinea fowl are housed with the chickens in what used to be a stable. So far no trouble with foxes, but we have only had them for a few months and we did lose two to rats, before the cat learned how to hunt effectively! Our dog is quite a menace and would probably be quite good at fending off foxes – we have seen them in the area. Thanks for hosting, I love Wool on Sundays – a great concept.

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