All is calm, all is Green. Adding the green chalk to the breeding harness on New Year's day took longer and was considerably messier than I remembered from last year. After all the work last year, the fittings were worn and took quite a while to get shipshape. Ah, well, all's well that ends well. If you have any question about exactly where the new brides-to-be were located on Shepherd's 2015 New Year's Day, November 14th, rest assured the rams can help with that.
The guy sporting the green harness is the chosen 2015 groom, Brad Pitt. The other guy, Channing Tatum, will stand on the sidelines for this season. I have plans for him next year.
Brad took his responsiblity seriously and got right to work as soon as he was introduced to the ewes.
He asked each and every ewe , 16 of them, if they would like to go out sometime. 6 of them said "why thank you, today would be great". Gestation is average 145 days. That means April 8, 2016 should be a very busy day.
Here we are one month later.
Everyone is sporting this year's fashion , green dots.
At this point Brad the ram is asking if he can go back in the ram pen. He is tired and wants to go back to a place where he doesn't have 16 women telling him where to go and when. He is particularly tired of being told he has to get up in the morning and go to work before he is ready. Many mornings when I go in the pen to let the breeding flock out, he is still lying down chewing his cud and gives me the "just give me a minute" look.
All the sheep, this flock of pregnant ewes , the other ram, as well as the flock of 2015 ewe lambs all go in the barn every night and go out to various pastures every morning. A pack of coyotes has been making quite a noise not too far away from the farm in the last month so caution prevails. The sheepdogs, Marley and Gwen, like this procedure as it makes for lots of fun moving sheep hither and thither. The sheep like it also and can be found standing at the gates as dark sets in each night. Sheep are very habitual so as long as I don't ask any sheep to go somewhere other than their usual pens and pastures everyone moves calmly together, ......just like sheep. Everyone that is, except Princess. Princess does not consider herself a sheep. But , Princess is a story for another day.
For now, this is a calm time of sheep farming. All the winter hay is on the farm, all the intended ewes are pregnant, they have given the nod to the quality of the hay. This quiet time of year is a welcome respite for sheep and shepherd alike.