Apr 1, 2012


 For a while now we have had 2 sheep on the farm, it took me a while to get around to posting about them. Their names are Willow and Falcon (Willow named by Vicki, Falcon came with his name). We bought them from a stud in Gympie.

They are Wiltipoll Sheep. They shed their coat so we don't have to shear them and when they breed they tend to have twins so our flock should grow quite quickly from here.

They are amazingly economical to keep. We have bought some feed, but with the paddocks as green as they are this time of year we have had little need for it. My only reference point was Archie our horse, you have to buy all sorts of extra food bits for him, so it came as a pleasant surprise that these guys are so low maintenance.

Did I say low maintenance? Well that is only until your ram starts limping and is diagnosed with a small case of foot rot. Then he needs to be caught every day for a week and have iodine sprayed on his feet. These guys were not raised as pets, they are from a farm where they live with hundreds of other sheep and are not handled so they don't like being caught. The first couple of time we tried just tackling Falcon, it kind of worked, but he is so strong it was not a long term solution. At one point I found myself slung around his neck while he dragged me all around the yard (sorry I don't have video or pics of that but I suspect it was very comical), it was stressful and potentially dangerous for both Falcon and I. Eventually we set up a race made of old shipping pallets which did the trick, he is all better now.

As you can see we have reached a point where we can feed them by hand now, that's about as touchy feely as they are going to get I think. But that's fair enough as long as they are happy.

Delivery day

Synchronised munching

After all the rain the land is bursting with sheep food, they have both put on a fair bit of weight since they arrived. It will be interesting to see how they go through the dryer winter months. 

Falcon has turned out to be quite the escape artist, he isn't stopped by an electric fence, apparently their coats insulate against the electricity. So we have a portable enclosure made of Dog wire we can move around, making sure they have plenty of food and shade on hot days. At night they come into the dog proof paddocks with Archie. They all get on pretty well, accept when the sheep get too close to his feed. One of our neighbours has had a couple of wild dog attacks on his sheep since we have been here so we have to stay vigilant.

I've heard people say sheep are stupid, don't believe it for a second. Maybe a better way of putting it is that they are less likely to want to do what you want. When we were having to catch Falcon daily, every time he would recognise the way we managed to corner him the day before and take evasive action. He kept us on our toes, outsmarting a sheep is not as easy as you might think.

And now just to finish some random Molly fun :)

PLEEEEASE can we play fetch some more?


Lisa said...

Id love some chooks..theyare wonderful little beasts :-). Someone round the cornwr from us has a rooster, i didnt think they were allowed in the 'burbs. ...still love hearing it though ( thankfully we live a bit away from it, ha)

Post a Comment