Closer to home

As regular readers of my blog will know, we keep a small flock of sheep of an ancient Norwegian breed called "gammelnorsk spælsau". It is a lovely breed, the animals are hardy yet gentle, quite affectionate even. The ewes are excellent mothers and mostly have uncomplicated labours.

A while back the breed was near extinct, as commercial sheep farmers prefer the more meaty white variety. So more often than not the "spælsau´s" fate is left to eager idealistic "hobby keepers" like ourselves, where the love for this ancient breed outweighs monetary gain.

Our flock consist of 24 ewes, one lovely ram and 31 lambs. All summer long they graze at summer pastures further away from home, and we only get to see them on our short weekly visits (to make sure all is well with their world). But come September we bring them closer to home, to graze on the green pastures around our house.

I do like to have them closer to home, so I can see them from my kitchen window. And at the spur of a moment I can go for a cuddle, should I feel so inclined (yes, they ARE affectionate). But even better, in just a months time most of them (minus the young rams, and some of the young ewes which are sold as livestock) will be back in the barn for winter.

As a sheep keeper autumn and winter are my most favourite time of the year. I love the quiet calm contentment in the barn. But we are not there yet. The straw bedding from last winter (full of manure) is still waiting to be spread on the fields. Due to recent rain the fields are saturated, making it near impossible to manoeuver a tractor. But soon... I hope.