Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It was Suppose to be Easy

This afternoon was suppose to be a short grazing time at the cabin for all the animals. The grass there is better than the pasture but if I leave both gates open they usually return to the big pasture on their own.

All went well for the first 3 minutes. Thor was a little rowdy but I thought he would settle down and graze peacefully. He didn't--he tried to go through the split rail fence that separates the cabin from the new area with the best grass, where they were a couple of days ago, but I knew he wouldn't fit. He wouldn't have if he hadn't broken the bottom rail.

After he went through, a few others followed so I opened the gate between the two areas so Beau wouldn't be separated from the sheep. Now in the lush grass area, I figured they wouldn't want to return to the big pasture but a little while later, as I was walking down to the lower gate, Sarah and Annie started to follow me and the rest of the sheep came along too. I led them through the barnyard to the gate into the little pasture (need a map yet?). And then everything stalled as one sheep stopped halfway through the gate. Thor started to come back so I closed the gate with 4 sheep in the little pasture and 3 in the big pasture. This would have been fine if Beau wasn't out running toward the house. After exploring a bit, he returned to the barnyard vicinity.

As dark approached, I thought Beau, being a guard llama, would want to be back in with the sheep but he was content just seeing them. I couldn't get close to him with a halter in my hand so that wasn't an option. Grain only worked until we got close to the gate. He wanted his freedom.

By this time it was really starting to get dark and cold was setting in. I was frazzled. And then it came to me. I would do what any smart farmer would do in my position-- I would call Karen (a warm and more experienced farmer).

I couldn't get all the sheep in the small pasture unless I got them into the big pasture and then got grain and put it all around in the bowls in the little pasture and then let them back in with chaos ensuing with Thor butting the other's and I was too tired for that. I would like to think that I would have thought of the obvious solution on my own if I had started the previous scenario, but I am not sure I would have.

The answer to the puzzler was--- to let the sheep from the little pasture into the big pasture now that the lower gate was closed. Then I could close that gate and open the big red gate for Beau to go into the little pasture on his own.

It also helped that once all the sheep were in big pasture I hid around the corner of the garage and they thought I had gone back to the house so they took off together back toward the barn. Once they were gone and the big red gate was wide open I got behind Beau and he ran through and then went back to the barn yard.

What's funny is-- I gave the chickens some grain and put them to bed a little early so I could go back to the house before dark and not have to come back out.

Can't wait until tomorrow now that I am just a little smarter.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I would have been frazzled too and probably tired and in tears!