The two blond sheep are very skittish but so pretty.
This one is crazy about stale bread and she is fascinated by the dogs.
Their fur feels even softer than the wool on the black sheep and not as oily.
Continuing on from P.'s haymaking adventure, here are the stacks.
A neighbour gave us the sticks, and P. sharpened them to a point, apparently the end has to be really sharp in order to get the hay to fall correctly over the stake.
Next job is to build a feeder so that the sheep can eat the hay without trampling it. We'll attach the feeder to the side of their shed so it'll keep dry when it rains (if it ever does).
The haystacks give the field such a nice rustic feel and the smell is amazing,
Not sure if there is enough there to feed the sheep through the autumn. But it's a good start. We are still giving them willow (which we cut from the ditches) and they've been spoiled with stale bread from the local supermarket which R. picks up when he delivers his potatoes.
Birthday wishes from my sister!
No, not Little Miss 109, but it would have been nice to have had a few white sheep.
I think the heels are an interesting improvement on their hoofs. But sheepskin slippers might be even better. I have bruises all down my legs where the lambs have jumped up against me to grab bread, hay or whatever I have in my pockets. The big badger-faced sheep even takes a run before she jumps. She nearly knocked me over yesterday when I went in to do party tricks for the neighbour's grandson. And one day last week, one of the small black lambs jumped up, got a hoof stuck in my trouser pocket and pulled them down to my knees.
Went to Agrimarket and bought a bag of sheep feed, Primo 2.
Our neighbour is on holiday next week so we are chief shepherd(ess).
We cut down some more overhanging willow - that really makes their day, they prefer it to the fresh birch leaves.
Checking feet as and when the opportunity arises, but they are all looking good.
Had a quick random check of their feet today. The advantage of dry weather is that the hard ground wears down the harder outter surface of the hoofs and prevents it from curling into the softer padded bits underneath. The sheep who were willing to have me inspect their feet were all in good shape. Their feet had been trimmed before we collected them from the farm but it was good to see that there is no need to get the files out for a few more weeks.
It was windy today so they sat in their shed chewing happily. Not sure if birch leaves contain Xylitol but they certainly look like they are chewing gum!
It was a noisy wake-up call. The neighbour's poultry get going as soon as dawn breaks (around 4am), then the sheep get started and eventually the dogs start thinking about food.
This morning was exceptionally noisy. There were 12 baa-baa noises coming from the enclosure near to the cabin (where we left the birch and willow branches for the sheep) and one solitary but very loud baaaaa-baaaaaaaaa noise coming from down near the sheep shed. I wandered down (in dressing gown) and found number 125 sort of stuck feet first in a roll of fencing which we had left by the shed. Somehow the roll had tipped over and the sheep had jumped into it. Poor thing couldn't move.
It only took a couple of minutes to cut her free and she didn't seem to be suffering post-traumatic stress.
Yesterday the boys fixed new fence posts around the whole of the visakoivu (curly birch) plantation. Hard work in scorching sunshine, amidst all the bugs and the ground is rock hard. We decided not to let the flock into the new area straight away in case they found an escape route in the middle of the night. But first thing this morning we removed the old fence and now they have full run of the birch wood.
We also trimmed the willow branches from the ditch on the far side of the enclosure so they won't be tempted to jump up (they looooove willow) and grab over-hanging branches, which could result in a flattened fence and sheep at large. They have fresh straw bedding in their shed which they rarely ever use. They all came to take a look anyway. The girls have had plenty of company over the last couple of days with people jumping in and out of their enclosure - lots of entertainment value if you are a sheep. Elisa made friends with Felix, a young toddler who came to visit - she put her head through the fence into his pushchair and let him pull her ears. She is such a softie.
I've had to cut some fur away from Elisa's belly, not sure if she is shedding fur or if she just caught it on some branches. Their feet look OK and they are all happy. The warm, dry weather seems to suit them. So far no lynx, just a fat supikoira (racoon dog) that Zelda and Zsazsa are more than happy to chase away.
I have come to the conclusion that 109 is one of Elisa's lambs. The two are inseparable and 109 is the only sheep, apart from Elisa, who is completely tame.
Here you can see how the black sheep have turned a dark chocolate colour. They don't seem to mind the heat, they have plenty of shade under the birch trees and the lake to paddle in (but they don't go far).
We met R.'s father at the Shell Station on Saturday. He told us he had found a lynx asleep under a tree behind his house. That's a bit too close for comfort.
Apparently we messed up a bit with the sheep fence as one of the lambs found her way out. When we enlarged the enclosure at the weekend, we forgot to attach one part of the fence to a post, so there was a gap. Our neighbour called us to say that one of the girls had found her way out. Twice. Fortunately she didn't share her escape route with the others who were too busy trying to figure out if they could use the wooden steps to get over the fence. Trying to get her back inside the enclosure was, apparently, a bit of a problem and the whole flock took advantage of the situation and went AWOL.
Our neighbour fixed the fence and rounded up the flock.
We're learning fast.