Sheep in the Shade

Jun. 18 2015
From the Farm

As of June tenth, plus or minus, three-quarters of the flock, plus or minus, has been shorn, and the most recent shearing has reduced the number of sheep in the shed to five with wool, eighteen shorn. Why are unshorn sheep in the shed? We are in a wet period, ten inches or so in the last forty days, and we need the sheep to be dry when the wool comes off.


The sheep don’t get to vote on that subject. Their fleeces have been weighing out around ten pounds dry and if we were to weigh the fleece wet after an inch of rain it might come to thirteen pounds and why, one might ask, should any creature be walking around in ninety degree June weighing an extra thirteen pounds?


Why indeed. The eighteen shorn sheep are still in the shed because all that moisture brings flies and the injuries flies cause can best be treated in a dry condition that stays dry overnight. Tibbie the Great Pyrenees stays there with them overnight. It’s easy duty, not having to run up and down a pasture barking coyotes off all night, and the shed itself amplifies her barks. A yearling recovering from a broken leg lives in a pen in the back of the shed. Come morning off they go to grass, the yearling staying in its pen. Tibbie is convinced its leg is well so she lingers until she sees it has been fed and then she follows the others out to pasture.

And shade.

Copyright Jerry Wigglesworth, 2015