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Home Alone

June 28, 2012

Robin and Dan went away for a really long time. I was sure annoyed because I had nothing to do most of the time. One of their relatives named Jack came and stayed for a few days. He is nice, but he didn’t know that I was supposed to herd sheep every day–or at least chickens. Then a friend named Meryl stayed for a few nights. She is nice too, but I still didn’t get to do my regular work. Speaking of work, Robin wants me to write a blog post for her. She says that since I don’t have anything interesting to say about the time they were gone I can write about what they did before they left.

Robin says that it is a lot of work to leave with all of us still here. (Duh! That’s why you should take us with you.) Before they left the temperature had been over 100 degrees and she was worried about everyone getting too hot while she was gone. She usually has to keep the water troughs for the sheep filled up because there haven’t been automatic waterers in the barn. Dan fixed that before they left.

This is for water in the ram pen.

And this one is for where the ewes hang out behind the barn.

This is a float in the main water trough in the corral area. Robin used to have to keep this trough filled with a hose. Too bad I can’t reach this trough.

Even Faulkner, the other ram, got his own water. There used to be pigs in here so a pipe was there but it had the wrong end for a sheep to use.

While Dan was fixing the water troughs Robin did other stuff. This is the shed where Faulkner gets out of the rain. It was coming apart and she fixed it. Darn. I had hoped that one of these days the back wall would be pushed off all the way and then there would be something to do when the sheep got out.

Another thing that Robin did was to work in the ram pen and fix the wires. While I kept the rams away she nailed in new insulators and tightened the wire and nailed up the panels that were lose. She got mad though when she saw the electric wire loose again. It kept getting bent and caught on the wire panels. Robin finally figured out why.

This is Clapton, one of the yearling rams. He kept rubbing his head on those black insulators that stick out. Then the wire would pop off. The last time Robin saw him doing that the wire was caught between the two top horns. Stupid ram. I don’t touch the wire because it hurts–I guess the rams are so hard headed that they don’t care. Robin couldn’t let Clapton keep wrecking the fence while she was gone so she put him in jail with a ram lamb to keep him company. Even here he got in trouble. In this photo Clapton has his horn stuck in the panel. She got him out and then put some bales of straw there.

Another thing that Robin was worried about was what to do with the donkey. The donkey wears a funny thing on her face to keep her from eating too much during the day. At night Robin takes it off and feeds Amaryllis grass hay in the barn. She didn’t want to ask anyone else to do that so she figured out a way to keep Amaryllis out of the pasture. She told Dan to make a panel that the sheep could go under but that was strong enough to keep the donkey back. This is where she wanted to put it but first she had to clean out old packed in manure. Robin says this is called “pen-pack” and it is OK for the surface in that part of the barn where there is no concrete. She has been complaining to Dan that it is about time to clean it out and start over–so I guess she started doing that with a pitchfork. (I thought that they should use the tractor but it has 2 torn up tires–those tires are big–have you ever seen tractor tires?)

Here is what it looked like when Robin was finished–at least enough to put in the panel that Dan made.

The sheep figured out how to go under it.

Another thing that Robin did before she left was to get more of that white electric fencing. She usually takes fences down and moves them every day or two, but she didn’t think that anyone else could do that as well as she could. She bought more fencing and cut it to fit the right places.

Then she set up all the fences and left directions about which fences to take down and where to move the water on different days. Even though I didn’t get to help with this, I will admit that I think it was a clever thing to do–printing out that photo.

Another thing that Robin did before she left was to mark these sheep. These three are going to have lambs at the fair in July and Robin wanted the helpers to know which sheep to keep an eye on.

So Robin and Dan did all this work for the sheep and the donkey. What did they do for me before they left?

They filled up this black tub in case it was hot and I ran out of water in the yard. So the sheep get fancy water troughs and I’m supposed to drink my bath water?

When Robin and Dan came home they seemed happy to see me but they didn’t bring me anything. Robin said that you can see her pictures on her blog.

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