Tuesday, June 11, 2013

sheep as lawnmowers, and swiss chard munching toddler

Here is the view out our back door today:

Our sheep have been working as lawn mowers for us recently, and doing a pretty good job of it.

The sheep had eaten down the grass in their little fenced pasture. Then the mischievous creatures began climbing right through the fencing to get to the tasty grass on the other side. Not really a problem- they'd eventually climb back into their pasture- until a very nice old man from way down the road brought all our sheep back to us one day. Hmm.

We have plenty of grass around our property, but no movable fencing to keep the sheep contained in. We couldn't stake them out and tie them all up because all their ropes would get tied in knots and they'd be tripping all over the place. Then, my clever husband discovered something really neat. If you only tie up a couple of sheep, the rest stay with them due to their strong herd instincts! :)

We only have the 6 sheep (we sent all of those nice St. Croix ram lambs to Freezer Camp). Two ewes with 3 babies between them, and one other ewe whose babies died. When we tie the 2 ewe mamas to a tree or a strategically placed t-post, the others stay right with them. They all still move like a school of fish when nervous, even with the two sheep tied up (their ropes are very long). The whole group will run tightly together at the end of the ewes' ropes, never leaving their sides! Isn't that neat. :)

The lot of them are always tied within easy viewing distance from our windows, so I would quickly notice if one of them has gotten their rope caught up. They haven't yet. We also put them all away in their own pasture with covered stall at night or in bad weather. So far it's working out pretty fantastically.

Look how they all tried to hide behind that tree when I snapped this picture just now. Haha! But see how nicely clipped the grass is. It's not the manicured ultra-green lawn one would find in suburbia, but we're not going for the suburbia look, we're going for the "let's have shorter grass so the ticks don't try to hide there so we can find fewer ticks climbing around in our bedsheets" look. Nobody gets into homesteading for the glamour!

And a totally unrelated photo just for fun. I took our monthly grocery shopping trip the other day. At one point I glanced down and this is what I saw:  Farmgirl had helped herself to a leaf of swiss chard from the cart and was munching away. She ate the entire thing! lol


  1. we also have the grass issue... after our 2 mini horses ate down all the grass in their fenced pasture, we came up with the brilliant idea to stake them out. They can be near each other, but not close enough to tangle up. They are doing a pretty good job of eating down that area too! I just wish our goats would copy them and help out, but they would rather eat tastier items (like car hood ornaments, screens, extension cords, rose bushes etc)

  2. It's great to see kids eating real food. :- )

  3. How awesome - a toddler eating swiss chard! :) Love your header - we have raised heritage breed turkeys on our homestead for a long time. A bourbon red named Jake is a long-time favorite. :) Nice to "meet" you!

  4. Great idea with the sheep!

    What a sweet girl you have there munching away!

    Danielle R.

  5. I love what you wrote: "Nobody gets into homesteading for the glamour!" You just have to look at our place to know it's true, lol. Farmgirl is such a cutie! Thank you so much for your caring comment on my blog. I'm not feeling near 100% but expecting improvement. Blessings to you and your amazing family ~smile~.

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