Preparing a Sheep Trap

I’m waiting anxiously for the sheep shearer to contact us to say what day he will be here to shear Eddy and the girls. It has dragged on for weeks with us on alert for that call to come. The one good side to that is that I have had plenty of time to engineer a way to capture the sheep and confine them for the shearer to grab one at a time. That was a real worry for me.

In the mean time, we added sweet, rascally Noah to the herd and he has brought some humor to the pasture. He is like a naughty little puppy, always looking for something to disrupt. He tags along after Eddy the big goat, and is frequently corrected by Eddy’s big horns. He seems to consider the sheep to be his siblings, though, and they all compete for the feed and the prime locations around the barnyard.

I came up with a strategy of moving their morning feed closer and closer into the barn each week. I had to close up the chickens to their inner area while the bigger animals were free to wander in and out, but now the goats and sheep are accustomed to eating in the “airlock” and inside the chicken run. They all are happily resting in these areas during the day until they hear me coming and then they scatter in a panic.

So, next I strung up a rope so that when I know the shearer is coming I can sneak up along the side of the barn and yank the gate closed when they are all within. I tried it once and it works, however I will have to check it carefully that day because “somebody” has been trying to chew the rope in two during the day. I only have to make it work once, and after everyone is sheared, vaccinated, and released we can go back to normal procedures.

The trap!

Once that is all done, we get to go fetch the two lambs and bring them home. I’m excited about that, as they are now eight weeks old and weaned from their mom. I will have plenty of reasons to wander out to the barn to visit, not to mention all that wool and mohair to process. I love summer on the farm — always so much to do and a feeling of purpose every way I turn.

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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