Three More Scheduled to be Sheared Saturday

We have three sheep remaining to be sheared in Flock 1. Tolkien, Oats, and Cady. We will do that on Saturday April 20th.

We will be taking the 27th. off because we will be at the Paawzitively Created Craft Fair on the 28th.

We will return to shearing on May 4th. with Flock 2. That is the Karakuls and Southdown. Raphael, Donatello, Sadie, Rosie, and Teresa.

We will be mustering at the Caldwell pasture at 9:00 am. Contact us if you need more information.

Well… Lets Give it a Try

Today it was in the seventies and sunny, but Friday evening we are supposed to get a little bit of showers. Hopefully it will be dry by Saturday morning. We are going to give shearing a chance. Saturday the 13th is still a go.

Shearing Season Starts Once Again

As you can see, Donatello needs to be sheared. in fact, all the sheep need shearing. It was decided at the open board meeting last week that Saturday April 6th. will be the first shearing day. As always, the shearing will be open to the public, for those who want to learn to shear, work with the sheep, or just to cheer us on and pet the sheep.

Weather permitting, we will be starting at the Caldwell pasture at 10am. Contact us to get in the loop on weather cancellations and information on how to get there.

Look, You Trying to Cause Trouble?

A while back, we got a morning call from the county Animal Control Officer. She was good humored, and confirmed that she could not find a problem. The reason for the call, someone had called 911 saying there was a sheep in our pasture that had a steel rod sticking through them. So, fast forward. One day this last week, I went out to the Caldwell pasture at lunchtime, and guess what I saw. Oats loafing in the pasture looking like he had a t-post sticking through him. Believe me, seeing him from head on, it looked real bad, and gave me quite a start.

Morning Snow, We Were Expecting Rain

When I finished feeding in the morning, it was starting to spritz snow. You know, just the occasional tiny bits that may have come from freezing fog. I headed across town to first service at church. When I came out of church the snow was coming down good in pretty big flakes. Decided I should check on the sheep shelters before heading home.

There was no accumulation on the shelters, but you can see what I saw. Cookie (the llama) was enjoying second breakfast, and everybody else was under the shelter. Everybody except Cady, she was laying out in the falling snow. Maybe it is her breed, I don’t know, her mother for sure was a rambouillet range ewe. They typically live an unsheltered life in our region.

We are posting again… Starting with a windsock?

Between the last post and now, we have been posting onto our social media accounts, principally on Facebook. We are turning a new page, and returning to our blog posts.

Today we put in a windsock. This has been planned for over a year, but has not been a priority. This winter has been pretty stable with streamlined daily chores, and simplified rotation patterns, (yes, we have two flocks now). It has been taking just over 2 man hours a day to do all that the sheep need, and that includes the always important scratches and treats. All the parts were prepared over the last two weeks, pipe was cut and threaded, parts were ordered or bought locally. The day was good for the job, until the last few minutes. As the windsock was being attached to the frame the wind came up and it started to hail. I was not sure we were going to get it dropped into the base tube. Eh, piece of cake.

I know some of you are, or live with pilots, What is the wind speed?

We have been wanting to put the windsock in because the only way we could know wind direction or speed was to look at the sheep shelter and look at the difference between the two sides. You can see the uplift on one side of the shelter, and pressure on the other.

I was concerned that the sheep would be freaked out by it, but they do not mind it at all.

We have florescent orange paint for the mast, but with the weather, we decided to wait for a better day to paint.

Oats Joins the Flock

We have a new resident. Well, new as of last August. He came to us with the name of Oats. We decided to put him in with Cady and Beauty. Beauty being a 13 winter ewe has been a perfect auntie to the two lambs. Oats had a bout with Blue Tongue not long after he got here, but has fully recovered.

Oats snuggled with Beauty

We thought he needed another name, and we decided to call him Oatis, but the name Oatis never really caught on. We are guessing that surprisingly, he really is an Oats after all. Oats is two months younger than Cady

Beauty putting her best face forward

Cady had never had another lamb to play with, and us shepherds tried to play tag and lambpede with her as much as possible. Well, Oats has been a great playmate for Cady, they have become best friends, and they are almost inseparable.

Hey buddy

I am sure there are going to be more Cady and Oats posts in our future.

Be a Volunteer and be Victorious.

It has been said that the greatest blessing you can receive is to be a blessing to others. I can personally attest to that being a fact. I saw this new intersection as I was hauling hay on Saturday. It seemed so perfect. There are many worthy organizations out there that could use your help, please help them when you can.

The Year Ahead and Beyond

When we began, we set out four main focuses for our mission. The four classes of sheep we had a desire to help were:

  • Abused / Neglected
  • Lost
  • Homeless
  • Orphan

We opened our doors by making it known we were a sanctuary for the abused and neglected. We additionally made it clear to authorities, that we could help with emergency feed, shearing, and physical help for good shepherds that were in dire straights and needed help. We have never been interested in being part of the legal process or of making determinations, we just want to be there for the sheep if a determination by proper authorities is made. However, there have not been any formal abuse or neglect cases in our immediate vicinity. We have seen a couple of suspected cases in our area, but the sheep were been spirited away before anybody could do, or prove anything.

Looking Forward

The lost and the homeless we have seen, and have had opportunities to be part of the solution. This is how all the sheep in our care have come to us, either as unclaimed lost sheep, or pet sheep losing their homes. We want to continue to expand our service area, working with regional volunteers who can capture lost sheep, and arrange temporary housing and care while lost and homeless sheep are waiting for transport to our facilities; They can also be the contact for the good shepherds in their region that may need help. The story of Bo Peep is a good example of this. We are hoping in the coming years to keep expanding and serving more of the lost and the homeless.

Looking Forward – Where’s My Shades

The remaining and as yet unrealized goal is to help orphans. I know it is hard to believe, and painful to consider, but there are many orphaned lambs that are not cared for, and suffer for it. They fall into a limbo between uselessness, embarrassment, and inconvenience in the commercial setting. Saving them is the most difficult of the goals, because orphan lambs are both amazingly resilient, and very fragile. If you are like me and participate in online groups with people who are working to save orphan lambs, you may have noticed a fairly high mortality rate. The people trying to save these lambs are good souls trying their best, with the resources they have. The good news however is there are also shepherds in these groups who are successful year after year, and lamb after lamb in their care goes on to a long healthy life. What makes them so successful is a very well developed skill and knowledge set. Our plan is to bringing fosters of all skill levels together under our program. We see mentorship combined with access to physical resources as being the key to saving the greatest number of lambs. As a note, when I originally wrote this paragraph, we had never dealt with an orphaned lamb. About two weeks later, we had a two day old in our care.

Cady, Our First Orphan Lamb

The Caldwell pasture is an example of the stewardship we feel for the land and environment. It has been a real treat to see how an entire ecosystem can develop if given a little push. We have been surprised how many more plants, insects and animals have moved in on their own, and established a home. Another surprise has been the people who have come out to the pasture just to hang out and watch the sheep. There is something therapeutic about sheep being sheep. We are going to continue to demonstrate how sheep, a large variety of plants, and intelligent grazing can heal the land, and help to improve the world in which we live.

A Pasture can be Healthy and Pretty

How do we grow? The scaling formula is pretty simple.

Volunteers + Land + Funding + Sheep = Growth

All four of the above conditions have to increase proportionately before we can expand our programs, or create new programs. A benefactor once looked at the 70 acres next to the Caldwell pasture and asked me “They lease that land, what if you had that area to work with?” I told them, “I could fill it with sheep in no time, a thousand sheep would be easy to come by.” That is true for most all sanctuaries. That is why if one looks around there are so many sanctuaries with more animals than the land can provide for, days away from insolvency, and/or staffed by owners/volunteers that are overworked and over stressed. We never want to be in that situation. Even if we took in just 10 more sheep we would need another shepherd for them. One of the great things about the scaling formula above is that those sheep would not even have to be in Idaho, or even in the United States. A shepherd who has access to some land to graze, a few sheep in need, and volunteers in the area to help when needed, can found a new RescEwe flock under our umbrella.

Spring Grazing in Caldwell

So, with the coming year being more uncertain than the last, how far will we go? Well, who would have dared to guess that in the COVID year we would have continued to grow. I guess the Lord only knows where we will be this time next year. But, we will be ready to take on anything that He brings to us.

“The righteous care for the needs of their animals, but the kindest acts of the wicked are cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 (NIV)