Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Crashing" Down the Fences

Well, my babies are growing up!  The other day I went to go do chores and Crash was on the wrong side of the fence!  His mama was in an uproar!!!  I knew the time was coming and that he was getting tired of just hanging with girls because he had gotten out once before.  Our poor renter had seen him in with the llamas and his daddy, Paco, who was giving him a heck of a time.  Tom and Thomas helped him get Crash back in with Mama and Princess and fixed where he got out and we left it at that, but I knew my time was limited.
I have learned a lot about Rams since getting Paco, and I love him dearly, but I'm not sure that he will stay at The Royal Ranch.  As you all know, I am very careful about breeding programs and will not tolerate any unaccounted for breeding or aggressive behavior in between breeding times.  Paco is having a very hard time understanding this concept; he is a ram and that is what rams do for a living.   But, he has made life a little difficult here on the ranch by making us have to separate pens out for different fellas.  Luckily, I had done this a couple of days before Crash came crashing through.
So, as I said, I go up to do my morning chores to Esther's panicked bawling (Crash was not so happy himself at this point either); he had done quite a number on the fence so I got everyone fed to try and calm them down and started to try and repair what I called the nesting area fence where I was keeping the lambs and Esther.  Crash had himself so worked up that he couldn't find his way back in with mama so I kept making the space a little bigger, pretty soon I turned around, and the sheep were out and the llamas were in!!!  Oh, and did I forget to mention how happy my chickens were to have access into the barn where they had been locked out of for weeks; they were happily clucking and scratching their way through the layers of straw that I had neatly laid down for the lambs!
Yes, it was as backwards as I could get it, and I just stood there laughing.  Esther, Princess and Crash were happily trotting around the edge of the bottom pasture, Marcel and Jasper were eating Esther's breakfast and the chickens were in chicken heaven and I had lost complete control of my little piece of paradise and was supposed to be at a meeting in about 15 minutes!  The only thing for me to do was to run back home, postpone my meeting, grab my fencing supplies and get to work!  Thankfully I had my plan already in place, as any rancher does, and just had to implement it!
As you can see, there are smaller panels that have to be moved, and corral panels that have to be moved, all in the name of safety for Princess and Crash...
(The bucket is a step for the chickens to use to get over the panels, because this was their favorite exit, which is how I knew the lambs could get out; when, or where, will it end?)
My old boys, Marcel and Jasper, had been appointed lamb sitters.  Llamas are fantastic guards; as a matter of fact many of them are put to work in fields specifically for this purpose.  They are very aggressive towards coyotes and many progressive ranchers are now putting them to work to save their herds of cattle and sheep from losses of babies.  I had already divided out the rest of the herd from these two, so it was just a matter of taking the panels from the "nesting pen" and placing them around any danger spots in the lower portion of our llama pen to make sure that little Crash is not going to escape to the outside world.
I would like to leave you with a mental picture of how things are done here at The Royal Ranch though.  Keep in mind that I was dressed for a meeting, nothing too fancy, just dressed.  Anywho, when there is panels being moved around, that means excitement, and I don't do it alone.  I usually have a string of cats following me, one long haired black, at least one orange tabby, and one gray.  The chickens are always following me, again at least three or four; I have to always be careful where I step.  Marcel, my big white llama is at least one half step behind me because he is hoping for some grain, and after Crash's big scare, he was a little upset and needed reassurance, so he was rather clingy too.  So, each time I got down on the ground I found myself with a lamb on top of me, doesn't do much for the hairdo, although he is very proud to be in with the big boys now.  Needless to say, I had to redress and rearrange before I left for my meeting 1.5 hours late!!! Oh, the life of a rancher, wouldn't trade it for anything!
Yes, I know it is Tuesday, but I have had this post sitting in my drafts folder since the weekend, shame, shame!  I decided not to cross post to GreenSpot-On for that reason and because I wanted to share with those readers about my recycled chicken coop, which of course you all have read about before!  But, make sure and pop over there to check it out and leave me a quick comment, I'm curious as to how their comments come through!!! Thanks again for being such loyal fans!

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