Last Saturday, the sheep made the journey from the Parma alfalfa (lucerne) field, back to the Caldwell pasture. As you can see, the alfalfa was out of its winter dormancy, and was starting to grow again. Not that the sheep disagreed with that, the alfalfa is really quite yummy. However, the farmer who was letting us graze the alfalfa field, needed them off as soon as possible.
The idea was to graze and naturally fertilize the alfalfa, but we did not want to stunt its growth. It really worked well for us, because while they were on the field, it reduced our hay consumption by 25 percent.
The weather for the day was scattered rain showers. We were really lucky because we never saw rain where we were until late in the evening. We did see many storms pass through the valley all day long.
The views were spectacular.
Luckily for everybody involved, the move was complete, and the shelter was up long before the rain paid a visit.
The expectation is that we can start grazing the Caldwell pasture the second week of April. Until then we will slowly expand the containment, giving the sheep a gradual shift to the annual grasses that cover the south end of the pasture. The seeding process will continue this year.
However there is a major expansion in the near future.
Hmm… Where will we find the fencing, piping, and pasture seed we will need…
-More info to follow.-
After the unseasonable warm temperatures we have experienced this winter, things have returned to normal. Well kind of…
While the Caldwell pasture is four inches deep in snow, the Parma pasture is bare and dry. We have had a succession of wind, graupel, and sunshine. It has been hard to know what the weather will be in the next hour. The moveable shelter has done the sheep well. When the graupel falls, the sheep hide under the shelter. When the sun comes out the sheep return to grazing or playing, and the graupel melts away. When the wind blows they hardly care.
Witness if you will, a 14mph (22kph) wind with warm sun. All the sheep, under the shelter chewing cud without a care in the world.
Sunday afternoon, the wind was reaching well over 20 mph (32kph). The shelter was whipping about. We were not expecting the clouds to break, but we were also not expecting any precipitation til Monday morning. The shelter is moved on Sunday evening anyway, so it would be down for only a couple extra hours. After all, we needed to put a few additional grommets in it anyway. The decision was made to take the cover off and do some work on it.
After the work, when we came back out to move the shelter, we were met with an interesting sight.
All but one of the sheep were loafing under the shelter that was not there. We know that sheep have excellent understanding of spacial relations, and rudimentary math skills, but could they really believe that the shelter exists in a quantum state?
I think they are just messing with us.