Thursday, November 1, 2007

You Get What You Pay For

With the end of October and the beginning of November here already I'm feeling a slight sense of panic. Perry was put with the ewes at the end of May. Sheep have a gestation of about five months, and Ewenice had a good mark on her at the beginning of June. That means she could lamb at any time. Cows have a gestation of approximately nine months. That means Ladysmith could have her calf as early as the middle of November. THAT'S THIS MONTH!

I needed to separate the cow and bull, which meant Ladysmith would have to go into the pen that Perry was occupying. That meant the temporary pen at the end of the ewe's pen would have to be set up and Perry moved there.

I just got one of the stalls cleaned out yesterday. I haven't bought the new straw yet and I had planned on dividing the two stalls to make four bonding pens. This spring I had put an inexpensive wire fencing on the pipe fence to keep the lambs enclosed. They like to slip underneath and then their moms panic and then the lambs panic until they figure out how to get back in. I also had an incident where one lamb managed to squeeze through a hole into Perry's pen. I'm afraid Perry took advantage of the young lamb in a most disgraceful way. (That lamb survived and we now have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy.)

That wire fencing that I took so much time to wire up got bent up at the bottom and there were single pieces of wire poking out. Useless and dangerous. And in this case a waste of money and time.

Here you can see the holes in the wire fencing...

...along with a stray piece of wire sticking out in a dangerous way.

I broke down and bought several hog panels. Those are usually four gauge wire fencing panels about 2 1/2 feet tall with spacing that the lambs could not possibly squeeze through. I got the two temporary pipe fences wired up with the hog panels so I could move Perry into his temporary pen. Then I was able to move Ladysmith to her new pen.

Here is the hog panel wired to the pipe fence. The wire fence hasn't been removed yet in this picture.

Ideally I want to weld the panels to the pipe fencing to make it that much more permanent and sturdy. Also to reduce the risk of pokey wires sticking out. Sheep have very thin skin and I can just see one of them getting snagged on a stray wire. Not a pretty picture. So far I've been lucky.

I haven't been able to get the fencing done for one reason or the other. (Excuses!!) We're going out of town this weekend. Maybe I can talk my son-in-law-to-be to do that for me while we're gone.

OR... I could learn how to do the welding myself!

Is that something you can learn on the internet?

1 comment:

Robbyn said...

clueless here about fences...I'm learning from your experiences! :)