Settling in with Sheep

Feb
19

Is it just me, or does this look like a “Pooh gets stuck in Rabbit’s front door” moment waiting to happen?
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We are learning to live with sheep. We have bought our first round bale of hay (as opposed to those little square bales that work just fine when you have three tiny goats). And we have an appointment for shearing late next week. I can’t wait to watch that! An old guy who has been doing this for a very long time is coming out to the farm to shear them and will also trim their hooves. That’s good cuz I’m still halfway scared of them. It has taken them no time at all to associate me with food and I’m not quite comfortable yet when there is a thousand pounds of sheep running toward me.


I’m sure I’ll be totally down with that any day now.

I really love them.

And they may not love me yet, but they really love hay.

You just go on and stick your whole face in there, hon.
img_18363
I think you look beautiful wearing your food. Like you did it on purpose. Like it’s a statement.
img_18322
And don’t you let anyone tell you any different.

So much has been going on lately, I haven’t mentioned that on Sunday, Jean Snedegar from West Virginia Public Radio came out here to interview me.
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She also interviewed the chickens.

West Virginia Public Radio reaches throughout the state and into some areas of surrounding states. The program with my interview will also be available online. I’ll post more when I hear about the scheduling of the broadcast!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on February 19, 2009  

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Comments

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  1. 2-19
    4:29
    am

    It does resemble Pooh getting stuck. LOL I love the statement just stick your whole face right in there. LOL Enjoy your day on the farm.

    Cece

  2. 2-19
    4:31
    am

    Wow! I can’t believe you went from no sheep to a whole flock so suddenly. What an amazing commitment. Next thing I know you will have cattle and llamas!

    I looking forward to hearing your interview.

  3. 2-19
    4:59
    am

    Wow! Now you are a multi-animal farm and a multi-media farmer!

  4. 2-19
    5:17
    am

    Looking at that sheep tush made me realize I have been seriously neglecting my treadmill the last couple of weeks. Fine. I’ll go. When is it ever going to be Spring so I can walk outside? :hissyfit:

  5. 2-19
    5:43
    am

    Have you considered milking the sheep, when they do give birth? Why not keep them with the goats? Will they be safe down in that pasture? Will Coco be guarding them there?

  6. 2-19
    6:13
    am

    I know how you feel. It took me a long time to get used to being surrounded by horses everytime I went into the pasture. I can’t imagine something with horns running at me. Although me and cows don’t get along well. They always chase me.

    Is that Spartacus giving the radio lady the evil eye?

  7. 2-19
    6:21
    am

    I listen to NPR every morning, if I actually get to hear the chickens at the time I’m reading about the chickens this whole house is getting woken up by *my* cackle.

  8. 2-19
    6:23
    am

    I’d be curious to know what the chickens said. :bugeyed:

  9. 2-19
    6:42
    am

    Suzanne, you might be interested in the Maryland Wool and Sheep Festival. I’ve never gone, but it is so popular among fiberholics–and I’ve seen pictures and it looks like a great time! Check out their info: http://www.sheepandwool.org/

  10. 2-19
    6:52
    am

    Suzanne, this could be if interest to you: http://www.cestariltd.com/customwool/
    they are located in Virginia

  11. 2-19
    6:53
    am

    Oh they’re just shy, they don’t know how to tell you they love you yet!! They’re just figuring out how lucky they are to be on this farm!! :chicken: :sheepjump: :goat: :woof:

  12. 2-19
    6:54
    am

    p.s. we still need a goat emoticon!

  13. 2-19
    6:55
    am

    I tried to send this one earlier, but it didn’t post for some reason.. This is a great festival–I’ve never been, but I’ve been tempted. Too much going on at that time of year for me.
    http://www.sheepandwool.org/index.html

  14. 2-19
    7:06
    am

    I hope you told the lady from NPR to not trust everything the chickens tell her . . .

  15. 2-19
    7:15
    am

    I wear MY food nearly every day. It’s definitely a fashion statement.

    BTW…I’m fascinated by their multiple horns. I didn’t know multiple horns existed in nature. Amazing.

  16. 2-19
    7:54
    am

    Congratulations on the interview!! That is great!!

    I was interviewed for “Living the Country Life” (see link below)

    http://www.livingthecountrylife.com/radio/living-the-country-life-radio-program-week-of-january-19–2010/

    You should contact them…they would love to talk with you! (I was too embarrassed to listen to myself on the radio/Internet!)

  17. 2-19
    8:17
    am

    Yeah for Public Radio! I hope that the interview goes nationally! I’ll keep my ear out.

  18. 2-19
    8:20
    am

    I love how her head totally doesn’t match her body! The goat I mean, not the radio station lady…

  19. 2-19
    8:55
    am

    Isn’t it still a little cold to shear the sheep? I don’t know these things, but I would sure like to keep my coat if it’s still gonna snow. Ya’ll know better than I do, I’ll be quiet now.
    Everybody is so cute!
    Congrats on the radio interview! I can’t wait to hear it.

  20. 2-19
    9:00
    am

    You and the sheep will get use to each other in time.Don’t think you should let them walk on you like the goats do though.LOL You really have a lot going on to keep up with. Did the farmer have more sheep he gave to someone else or did you bring them all home. What did he do with them. Did he sell wool etc..

  21. 2-19
    9:34
    am

    Suzanne, you are living the dream! Your posts make my day, every day. The love for your animals and new life shines through in every word, and I just adore it!

  22. 2-19
    9:45
    am

    Amazing how so much can change so quickly on your farm! I love your sheep train from the photo. You have the knack for lining up your buddies for photos. It’s like you say, “ok everyone line up now.” and then they do!

    I’m so jealous of your lifestyle!

    Kris7
    Working hard at http://www.sccworlds.com

  23. 2-19
    10:07
    am

    The sheep and goats see you as the giver of hay, they will love you forever! :sheep:

  24. 2-19
    10:37
    am

    I am so envious..all those beautiful critters..You must get some little pigs also..nothing is cuter!! :sheep: :sheep:

  25. 2-19
    11:03
    am

    Oh yes, piggies are OH so cute and lovable, but what they contribute to a farm is a rather final product. Their very lovable-ness makes that final product just a little less palatable. Sheep’s wool is delivered leaving chilly, grumbly brumbly sheep, Goat’s milk is delivered after some effort and daily routine, Hen’s eggs are gathered daily leaving little stress unless a hen goes broody, and then they can even deliver lovable balls of fluffy peeping bonuses to the flock… Horses and Ponies contribute pleasure and transportation. But a Pig’s gift is awfully final. Necessary, nourishing, but final.

    I’ve raised em, enjoyed em while they lived (they’re really not dirty at all really, they prefer to be in a nice clean pen or out in a wide pasture) and enjoyed their meat in the freezer too, the regret fades after a bit, but I prefer the renewable sorts of livestock these days.

  26. 2-19
    11:09
    am

    Those big butted sheep won’t sit on your poor little goats will they? Our those horns safe? I know you didn’t want them on the goats but maybe they tend to butt more? After you have them sheared (so it isn’t too cold?), are you going to do it yourself next time? Hey, I’m from the suburbs and don’t have a clue about all this stuff lol. :help:

  27. 2-19
    11:10
    am

    I can’t type either – should be ARE and not OUR lol

  28. 2-19
    11:24
    am

    So much beautiful wool! For a spinner/fiber artist like me it’s like viewing a little glimpse of heaven!

  29. 2-19
    11:59
    am

    I’d love to watch them being sheared! How long does the coat get every year? Have you found someone to process the wool for you? Are you going to leave bangs on the Cotswold? Your Jacobs look like they have really nice faces, it’ll be so exciting to see the form of the animals underneath! I surfed the internet yesterday to read up on your breeds and you’ve been given true gems! Annabelle didn’t do so bad either! Have you seen those linen coats thingys they put on Cotswold to keep the wool cleaner? I’m so excited for you and soooo tempted. I caught myself looking at looms yesterday…arrrgggghhhh.

    Have a great day!
    huggs,
    margiesbooboo

  30. 2-19
    12:48
    pm

    Yes! And also another reason is because it’s healthier to shear them while it’s cold. The farmer we got them from said he always shears them this time of year. He said it’s safer to shear them when it’s cold because you don’t have to worry about infection or parasites in case of cuts that may occur while shearing–that’s more of an issue if the weather’s warm.

    I’m no expert, so I’m just following the recommendation of the man we got them from.

  31. 2-19
    12:50
    pm

    As for what I’ll do with the wool etc, I don’t know yet. This is all new to me! And yes, the farmer did have more sheep, and I’m not sure if he has homes for all of them yet, but I do know he had some other people coming.

  32. 2-19
    1:03
    pm

    My goodness! You have been busy!

    LOL on the thousand pounds of sheep associating you with food. That would MORE than halfway scare me.

  33. 2-19
    2:37
    pm

    OMG… I didn’t have time to read for 4 days and you GOT SHEEP!!! Lots of sheep-poos and a lamb-ooo to add to the sea of creatures becoming your farm. A small aside: yesterday in my Toastmasters club a young woman told us about becoming a farmer with her parents when they inherited her grandparents farm in East Texas 100 miles from Dallas. She had a slide show. They had cows, chickens, goats, sheep, giant puppies and donkeys. Apparently donkeys are good to protect livestock from coyotes which love a good cow, sheep or goat, not to mention chickens. Are any of these going to be food animals… remember NOT to NAME the food animals!!! :sheep: :sheepjump: :woof: :cowsleep: :snuggle: It’s almost spring here in Texas. It’s been 60s-70s some days this week. It’s WEIRD. I haven’t even trimmed back my straggly rose bush, I thought I had until March for winter to be over. JZ

  34. 2-19
    2:41
    pm

    Those sheep are so lucky to live on your farm!

  35. 2-19
    3:14
    pm

    They are so cool when they get shorn: Imagine not shaving your legs for months and then chopping it all off! LOL You will have to get a new character of a shy naked sheep.
    The shearer guy coming over should be able to tell you of a reputable place to get the wool processed and cleaned for making yarn. Yay.

  36. 2-19
    3:15
    pm

    Could you find a a way to market the wool? Clean it and then sell it to a spinner maybe?

    Your sheep does remind me of that Pooh Story! *G*

  37. 2-19
    3:48
    pm

    Oh my, they are huge! :sheep:

    I can hardly wait to hear your interview! :happyflower:

  38. 2-19
    4:19
    pm

    OOPS–It DID go through!

  39. 2-19
    7:26
    pm

    The hair on those sheep is just amazing! Or is it fur? ;) Clover is still my favorite though!
    Congrats on the interview, can’t wait to read it!

  40. 2-19
    9:19
    pm

    Well you KNOW the best part in a bale of hay is waaaaay down there in the middle, good job hon! Kind of like a $1 grab bag in a :sheepjump: barrel, the good ones are never at the top! And who’d mess with those horns anyway? It’s yours, take it by all means!

  41. 2-20
    1:57
    am

    Man oh man, I just adore :sheep: Jacob sheep! We have two of them, both wethers, and I am hopelessly in love. I love yours, too!

  42. 2-20
    2:06
    pm

    I’m not sure why, but I really like that first picture. It almost looks like a painting or print that you would hang up in your house. Now where in your house I have no idea, especially because it’s a shot of the BACK side of a sheep. LOL! But for some weird reason it appeals to me. :lol:

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"It was a cold wintry day when I brought my children to live in rural West Virginia. The farmhouse was one hundred years old, there was already snow on the ground, and the heat was sparse-—as was the insulation. The floors weren’t even, either. My then-twelve-year-old son walked in the door and said, “You’ve brought us to this slanted little house to die." Keep reading our story....






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