Counting Sheep

I went to my Basic Shepherding class this AM at the MD Sheep & Wool Festival. It was taught by Dr Richard Barczewski who is a professor at Delaware State University. He was born and raise around sheep and his wife is a livestock veterinarian. Rich’s (that’s easier than his last name) assistant was Peter Austin from Quailhill which is just down the road a spell from me.

All and all I learned the basics of shepherding sheep. Funny, that’s just what the class description was called. I probably could have learned all of this from a book, but there was a lot of interaction and time for questions. And then of course I was able to browse around and look at the lambies.

I’ll have to let Honey know that I was at a Basic Shepherding class this morning, because it just makes sense to use at least one more type of animal on a farm. Cows like grass about 6 inches high and rip it off, but sheep are grazers. So they will mow the grass short.

See. No top teeth. So they just rip it. They rap that long tongue around it and yank.

Plus the cows will clean up any parasites that sit on the grass blades waiting to infect the sheep. Then I will follow with chickens to spread the manure and eat the fly larvae.

I’ve thought about it. But putting it all into practice will take time. I may not get sheep right now…..at least not this weekend….but there is always the county fair in August.

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I can’t remember what Peter called this, but basically he got this lamb in headlock and threw her. Then propped her up on her rear. Then he showed us how to trim her hoofs.

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The other sheep in the pen that we were all standing in went bonkers. When one decided that he wanted on the other side then all of them ran to the other side. That would have been ok if about 20 humans hadn’t been standing in the pen also.

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There were some early arrivals who were getting their sheep shorn an looking beautiful, ready for competition.

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This ram was huge! And so beautiful.

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Cute little sheepie, almost looks like a puppy.

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These guys were pretty friendly and liked having their heads rubbed. Their coats were so pretty.

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BaBa Blacksheep, have you any wool?

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Jacob Sheep

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Lookin pretty.

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This is a Jamaican Sheep…just kidding…he says “hey maaan”.

This guy had a really deeeeep voice.

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This was my favorite sheepie. This is a Leicester and she loved for me to rub her face….she just didn’t want me to stop. I wanted to stick her in my back pocket and walk out with her….but, well, I’m not sure, but I think someone would have notice that she was missing.

I can’t wait to go back tomorrow and browse around the merchants and visit my favorite local shop….Dancing Leaf Farm and get some of her Blue Faced Leicester fleece to finish spinning enough for a sweater for Honey. And heaven only knows what else I might find. If it doesn’t pour rain I’d like to watch the sheepdog demonstrations and see some exhibitions. And of course get a yummy lamb sandwich of some sort. Or a kabob…and I just might have to stay the whole day, just so I can eat lunch and dinner.

I plan to have a lovely weekend, rain or shine, enjoying life to the fullest.

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