Foraging, Sheep

Pasture Lockdown 2021

My daughter, Morgan, and I went out before breakfast to go sort the sheep, llamas, and horse into lockdown areas before the winds really started to pickup. We’re having a doozy of a windstorm with potential for 40mph wind gusts.
The babies (as we call the keeper ewe lambs) are in with the horse with a nice lean-to they are not smart enough to use yet. They are standing out in the wind and rain after I showed them their shelter with grain, to no avail. They’ll figure it out, hopefully by tonight.
The llamas were put with the rams and ram lambs out in their own area with a nice lean-to as well. At least they know to use it!
The ewes have full reign of the front and back barnyards (and the barn overhang) from now through lambing, until the pastures open back up around April 1st. Each pasture gets 6 months off for winter.
These ewes and adult rams all tested negative for Johnes last week when we drew blood on 24 adult animals.

We had 3 ewes that came up positive for Johnes and are in a quarantine pen in the barn and awaiting retesting this weekend along with a ram who is in a different quarantine pen. The blood will get sent off on Monday. To rule out false positives, we are sending in a second round of blood.
These girls are so pretty and I hope they are actually negative.
We plan to test every 6 months with bloodwork and cull positives. We are considering the fecal PCR test, but need to figure out some logistics for it. If you want to read more about what happened recently with our flock, please go HERE.

On a more positive note, I found these cool mushrooms in the barnyard today while moving sheep. The first one is a Shaggy Mane, the other’s I’m not 100% on.

As soon as the winds go away, I want to go walk the woods to see if any other cool mushrooms have popped up. Might do that tomorrow as today just looks nasty out and I don’t want a tree branch on my head!

I’ll continue to keep you all updated on how our flock is doing with Johnes Disease and getting rid of it. As you probably saw, no breeding stock will be sold until it gets resolved. Market stock will also be heading straight to the sale barn at weaning too. I’m hopeful my customers can be understanding.

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