Saturday, March 1

Visit to a sheep farm

A couple that owns a sheep farm opened their barn to homeschooling families on Friday. Both the husband and wife were very kind and knowledgeable. I took the two older children and we all enjoyed ourselves immensely. As soon as the barn doors opened, Douglas' eyes lit up. He LOVES animals and animals love him.
When the wife, who is also a veterinarian, picked up one of the week old lambs, Douglas immediately asked if he could hold it and sat himself down on a bale of hay, holding out his arms.
As you can see, Mama Ewe was watching him carefully.Since their little lambs are born in the freezing months of late winter, they put sweaters on them! We were told that lambing season is a extra busy time for them since they must find a lamb within an hour of its birth to dry it and warm it in order for it to survive.
I do not envy all those long, cold treks to the barn in the middle of the night when a ewe is about to lamb.Because they show their sheep, they mate them earlier than normal so that they will be larger by the time they need to show them. Normally, lambing wouldn't occur until warm summer weather.

Besides being raised to be shown in competition, these are also meat sheep. The two breeds that they have are not normally raised for wool.
This little girl is not ours, but I thought her hat was adorable. She has such a lovely mother and siblings.

Douglas continued to run from ewe to lamb and from pen to pen, all the while asking the husband and wife a thousand questions about the lambs behavior and, "what kind is this one, what kind is that one?"

Miss Kaelin had a turn also at holding a lamb. Besides the lambs and ewes, the barn contained a donkey, raised with the sheep since it was weaned from its mother. As the farmer said, it thought it was a sheep. The donkey provides protection from predators as it is always kept with the sheep. When grazing, it chases after the coy dogs, coyotes, foxes and whatever else crosses into sheep territory. It was amazingly gentle with all the children.

It was a great home education experience that covered a host of subjects for that day: science, animal husbandry, math, health....
Many thanks to the wonderful couple for providing this experience!


Mrs. D said...

This looks like a fun day! Have a blessed Sunday with your family.

I love your new introductory sentence in the sidebar. Even though I have such an interesting job and a good income, what I am longing for is the time when God will grant us children and I can stay at home and take care of my DH and our family.

Catherine Holman said...

What a sweet, sweet blog!

Patricia said...

OH what fun! We use to raise sheep... how I miss them. Aren't they just beautiful? No wonder the Lord uses them so often in the Bible when teaching us.

Me said...

Catherine, I love your house paintings! I had come across some of them on another blog (can't recall which)!
Patricia, we've thought about getting a sheep for milking but for now, I am just too busy to go out and milk a sheep everyday! Maybe when the wee ones are older! I did think it was interesting all the things the farmers were telling us about the personalities of sheep and how much more understanding it gave to the references in the Bible.
have a beautiful Sabbath night!