Oh there has been so much excitement here at Wombat Hill over the last couple of weeks. We have added 5 sheep to our little farmlet! Two mamas – they are Suffolk crossed with Hampshire Downs – and their three babies. There’s Caroline-Louisa and her twins Satske and Little Kikashi, and Anne-Shirley and her baby Mae. We bought them from a lovely lovely farming family who live nearby on a beautiful farm that was once part of the historic Kameruka Estate. Oh you should have seen their old outbuildings – they even had the Kameruka Butter Factory in their back garden. Swoon!
We will raise these five as the basis of our flock – well, Little Kikashi won’t really be as he’s a boy and won’t be of much use, but Noah adores him and said from the get go that he would be his pet. Okay then :-) So next year when it’s time for Caroline-Louisa and Anne- Shirley to make more babies, we’ll have to find ourselves a ram. I’d like to get a Suffolk as I adore their black faces and legs. Both breeds are historically considered dual purpose – i.e. fleece and meat – and this is what we will raise them for.
So excited was I that out came the paints and I decorated our tv room door with my dream sheep :-) As you do. And half way through the painting, Noah and I were invited out to the farm to meet our potential sheep. It was the best fun morning. We arrived just as one sheep mama birthed twins right there in the field. It was breathtaking. And we roamed around the upper fields with Sue and her funny dogs – a huge young Maremma, a crazy little Kelpie pup, and the most manic poodle I’ve ever met. It was one of those moments in life when I knew I was exactly where I wanted to be, doing exactly what I wanted to do. Such a blessing.
We discussed our dreams with Sue and she promised to pick out just the right two mamas and their lambs – including twins – and then it was off to the ag store to buy all the sheep necessities. Not much really – just another electric fence and a couple bales of lucerne. We wanted to keep the mamas and their babies close in the early days because of the fox risk. Yep. Everything on our farm comes down to intestinal worms and foxes – I had no idea just how much these two topics would consume me.
Once home, I finished my painting – in a dancing state of delight, driving Noah crazy with constant chatter about how fabulous Sue was, and how beautiful the sheep are, and how living in the country is the bees’ knees, and how utterly utterly fantastic it all is! He just smiled and nodded and agreed – he’s awfully good value like that.
Then, the next day, Noah and I did the big fence re-arrange. We took the lovely sturdy mesh electric fence off the chickens – ’cause they do have a fox proof house and spend all their days free ranging – Julian calls them the Plucky Cluckies – so don’t really need the full on fence – then retrieved the dreadful loosely woven goat fence from a lower field which required over an hour’s untangling. What the goats hadn’t torn apart, the kangaroos crocheted up for us. We popped that around the chicken house – don’t know why really – it is completely useless at keeping chickens in and foxes out – I think it just made me feel good. Then we took the chicken’s old fence and the new fence – both very sturdy mesh electric fences – if you’re in the market for an electric fence, don’t even bother with the loose ones – spend the extra hundred and get the close mesh ones – works really well – the other just falls apart – and used them to completely enclose the field right in front of our cottage – including the big grevillea which we thought the sheep and lambs could shelter under if it rained. Finally, we chucked in a wading pool for their water trough. It was such good work ;-)
And only one more sleep until the real things arrived ….