Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sheep in the Upper Field, FINALLY!

For the last year our ewes have had to stay on this side of the fence.  They have been protected from predators and have enjoyed green grass.  Since our numbers are growing it was time to expand our pastures.  Icelandic sheep are browsers like goats.  They would prefer weeds, leaves and apple trees over grass.  Well who wouldn’t?
We finished up the last of the fence. They now have about 3 acres of weeds, grass, an apple orchard and all types of trees to choose from.
002 We now have a nice 8ft gate between the lower pasture and the upper pasture. 
I turned my head for a minute and the girls were in their new digs.   They are now known as Happy Sheep. 004
We lost two ram lambs to what we feel were barber pole worms.  Most loses of sheep in the summer months are attributed to these parasites.  They are a blood sucking stomach worm that causes anemia, especially in young lambs.  I learned that checking the inner eye lid is an good indication of anemia in sheep.  Sheep become infected with the larva while they graze.  We were able to isolate groups of the sheep and de-worm them with Cydectin.  Unfortunately, this is an overused de-wormer and the worms can develop an immunity.  With the addition of this field we will be able to rotate the sheep and break the life cycle of this parasite.  We will continue to monitor for anemia. Then de-worm as necessary.  Next summer we plan to enclose yet another pasture which will be even bigger.  This will give our sheep additional grazing areas free from worms.  If we can break the cycle and de- worm as necessary our sheep will be healthier.  Like I say, life is a learning experience.  I would like to thank Terri from Red Brick Road Farm for all of her help.  We took a trip to Illinois this past January and picked up three lovely Icelandic Sheep from her.  I learned from her that she culls sheep who are not parasite resistant, thus building a naturally resistant flock.  Like I said, life is a lesson. We hope everyone is surviving this hot summer.  Just think, snow is just around the corner. Hahaha.  Sorry, I had to do that.  Much Love and Prayers from Mainely Ewes Farm.


Marie said...

Your fence looks great!
So sorry to hear about you losing two lambs. So tough. Darn barberpole worms! Won't hurt my feelings to have some snow!

LindaSueBuhl said...

always satisfying to have newly fenced areas - we have had issues with barberpole worms - deadly parasites. Not sure what works in goats will work for sheep - after dosing with strong wormer (I've used ivermectin and safeguard at the same time for a blast at the infestation) - then we treat the goats with a daily oral dosage of 15 CC of Red cell (a horse vitamin) - don't know if it is good for sheep since it has copper sulfate.
Anyhow - satisfying to have new pasture area available for your animals.

Peggy said...

I am so looking forward to snow and winter's cold winds! Happy Sheep I know are enjoying their new pasture. You guys have really been busy this summer. Have a blessed day!!

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

I hate the whole worm-parasite committment you have to have with animals. Having to rotate wormers because the worms become immune, it's such a chore and the poor animals having to deal with 'em. I've been using Valbazen on the goats.

Wonderful that you've got more acreage fenced in. On our to-do list too as money and time become available.

Terri said...

You could also order some electronet fencing to give your sheep some fresh pasture to graze. You've got some nice land to work with. I hope the rest of your summer goes well. We are praying for snow here as well!

katiegirl said...

I hate to say it, but I also miss the snow!!!! I really hope we have an unusually high amount of snow like we did last winter.

I'm sorry about the two rams. I just ordered some tramisol (levamisole) powder from Sheepman Supply to deworm everyone. It works really well on barberpoles.

katiegirl said...

And I forgot to add, your new pasture is wonderful!