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.
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.
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.
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