Sheep at Home

Post date: Apr 13, 2016 8:2:26 PM

For the past month or so, we moved some of our sheep - unbred ewes, wethers - to graze and browse near the house. This is our mixed flock of Navajo-Churro and Santa Cruz Island sheep. We use electric fencing to control the sheep and also to help keep predators away. For us, putting the sheep near the house accomplishes several things: cuts down on feed costs, reduces the fuel load near the house to help prevent the spread of, heaven forbid, wildfire, and gives us an endless source of fascination. They are so fun to watch! For the sheep, it gives them a varied diet, a change of scenery, exercise, and more frequent exposure to us. We provide water, and they have plenty of shade from the pines and oaks.

I have posted three short videos below. These are of us moving the sheep from one area, south and west of our house, to another area, north of our house - our "backyard." In the first video you can hear Jim baa-ing to help guide Nutmeg. Nutmeg - I'll try to get some close up photos of her soon - is an old Navajo-Churro ewe with famously beautiful wool, who is nearly blind - she can see a little. She is legally blind, though, and we do not let her drive the car or pickup truck, not even the tractor.

In the second and shortest video, some of the wary Santa Cruz Island ewes are making up their minds to move along. The baa-ing in this video is the sheep, not Jim.

The third video shows the Santa Cruz Island ewes pretty well, including Flash the ewe-lamb, who is almost a yearling!, and at the end, walking very slowly along the fence, there is Nutmeg!