For a few years now, Cally and I have been tossing around the idea of bringing sheep here to the farm to compliment the work that the poultry is doing in our pasture (soil) rehabilitation program. The advantages were clear:
- sheep are smaller than cows (and therefore less of a danger to wee Angus);
- sheep can be contained by our mobile fencing;
- sheep are ruminants (and we're a grass/hay farm);
- sheep "mow" the grass to the perfect height for the chickens;
- sheep manure is incredibly rich;
- sheep are so darn cute.
But, because we're incredibly careful people—and despite thoughtful encouragement from elders we trust—we hadn't braved the plunge into shepherd-hood. Then, a few weeks ago, there was a knock on our door. To make a long story short....
These 50 sheep will spend the summer grazing our grasses and improving our soils. Then, 22 ewes will spend the winter in our barn, eating our hay. In the spring, we hope to have another 30ish lambs to add to the flock.
We are thrilled to hear their gentle "baaaaa's" and "munch munch munching." They're doing the work the land needs, and we're grateful.
And yes. That's their guard donkey. His name is Ben. He's very friendly and would love to meet you. Swing by if you're in the area.