This is the second post after changing to this format. There is a learning curve. I went back to the first post and changed what I could so that it was easier to read, but I still haven’t figured out exactly how to size the photos the way I want to. I’ll keep working on that.
I have been watching the fleeces bulge from under the coats of the few sheep who do wear them. I finally got some new and larger coats to get us through the last month until Shearing Day. The risk of not changing coats periodically is that the wool beneath will felt.
This is Meridian Jasmine after removing the too-small coat. You can tell the difference in the look of the wool on the neck and on the body. A close-up of her fleece is below along with some others. These sheep are all coated.
Three out of four sheep prefer blue coats for the winter! Terri M sent me three blue coats, size 4+ and two used brown coats, size 5+. I have finally figured out what sizes I need to get through the year. Each sheep needs a coat change at least three times a year, if not four. That’s a lot of expense and time. And with horned sheep many of the coats need repairing every time I change them.
One of the barn chores for tonight was to wage the second night of war on the rats. I set two traps last night. One was sprung with no results and the other was still in place. This afternoon that trap had a mouse in it. I’m sorry if this is unpleasant, but you should see the damage the rats are doing to the barn—fouling grain and hay, tunneling under the foundation, chewing through plastic barrels, and I think they eat more chicken food than the chickens. Lights are out and I can hear them calling “Party in the grain barrel!” Those are the “country” rats in the barn. The “town” rats are in the walls and attic of the house. This low tech method is a quick kill for the rats and doesn’t endanger other wildlife (and pets) as does using poison.