Our adventure as new sheep farmers has been humbling and gratifying. Our small flock from Dewittville, New York arrived the first Tuesday in August – a yearling ram that was large enough to scare me, two 4-year-old ewes and 5 ewe lambs. Two days later we bought two wether lambs to keep the ram company.
And then the trouble began.
Due to our own ignorance about electric fencing (it has to be ON to be of any use) our two older ewes walked through the fencing. None of the flock was very trained to grain by the previous shepherd, so our pathetic efforts to walk toward them shaking grain in dull plastic pails only made them walk away faster. Into the evening in a light rain we tried to find them in the woods to no avail. We went to bed sick that the area coyotes would take them down.
In the morning, we called the police in the vain hope that if someone saw them, we’d get them back. Five nights, about nine sightings, and many introductions to new neighbors later, we got the call! Bonnie Latham of Seventh Heaven Horse Farm (about 1.5 miles away), not only saw them, she had them in a paddock inside one of her pastures. Another neighbor with sheep knowledge and two great sons helped us secure them in our truck Moby and we returned home and kept them for three nights in our garage since our small barn had yet to arrive. They joined their fellow ewes and life seemed to settle down. For a few days.