Monthly Happenings- December

This will be a pretty short update given the winding downs of the season. The sheep are off the field until spring now. The most prominent reason is the lack of rainfall. We’ve entered into a moderate drought and given La Nina, will likely remain so for a couple months time. Their main food is hay, right now we’re finishing off the squares and then moving onto the sorghum bale we purchased from a local farmer. For those in Abilene, you’ll find him on Craigslist advertising Super Sugar Sudan Hay out of Tye (as of December 7th, 2021, mind we can’t control his advertising). He will deliver, even just one bale, and his hay bales are huge! In the meantime, the sheep are getting hay in the morning and evening, plus some grain and soybean mix to help round out the ration.

The bottle lambs are fully weaned, Aki and Rym above, and are with the adults in Magni’s pen. The two lambs are highly spoiled, so we hope Magni and the others can make them better behaved, especially Rym, fingers crossed. The adults are neutral to the lambs, much like the other sheep. They will push them out of the way to get to the hay, but are not aggressive towards them. Every morning though, when it is feeding time, Avani is one of the first to be calling for food (even if they still have food in their troughs…).

She’ll stick her head out the barn gate and then call out. Always being a silly, eager sheep. She is actively pregnant and we have seen some kicks within her belly. Despite acting like they get no-food-ever-why-aren’t-you-feeding-me, they eat a lot when a colder day comes through. Feeding times are a good time to check on everyone and watch and observe. Stay with each group for 15 minutes at least a couple times a week if in a rush. You’ll see any problems quickly this way, such as behavior changes, weight changes, or if they might start showing symptoms of a sickness.

Despite it being December, it is still gardening time! Though mostly cleaning up the garden patch, adding to and turning the compost, and if you got a warm winter ahead still, planting winter grains. Below is barley that we planted on November 29th, emerging from the soil. Winter wheat will also be planted as well. We got two plots, each about 6 ft by 6 ft or so.

With it being December, similar to last year, posting will go on hiatus over Christmas and New Years. The last post will be next week until January. For the next year we aim to keep to roughly the same schedule of Tuesday postings with monthly updates. One thing we will be trying out are “Grow-A-Alongs” where we plant and document some garden plantings from seed to harvest.

We have started gathering information and picture for barley and soon wheat. Though we will have planted both in fall, both can also be planted in early spring in Texas, so it can still be followed as you plant as well. Keep an eye out for the first post on that in January. Other Grow-A-Alongs haven’t been fully decided, but will likely include sesame, sorghum, sunflowers, and peanuts. Sheep posts and recipe posts will still continue, especially as we try new ideas and new experiences occur. Have a great holiday season!

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