Sunday, May 11, 2008

Marauding sheep

Yesterday was unplanned fencing day.  Friday evening we got a call from one neighbor that another neighbor had three sheep in their yard.  It was dark, but Tom and I put on boots and headlamps and wen tout and counted sheep.  None were missing. 

The next morning we walked the perimeter fence around the back area of tree, blackberries, brush and patches of grass where the sheep and goats have been grazing recently.  We found two areas where large branches had fallen on the fence and another area where the fence had been lifted up and there was telltale wool on it.  There was also sheep prints all around outside the fence.  This area of fence was older and had been so overgrown the sheep (and us) were not able to access it.  The sheep changed all of that.

So we ate breakfast, gathered up tools, put them on the quad and trailer and headed out and did some fencing.  This involved clearing the brush around the fence, removing the attached wire from rotten wood posts and pulling up the woven wire fencing.  The fencing was remarkably intact- just one hole that had to be patched and the metal posts were all in good shape except one that had to be straightened.  We put in one new wood post and attached the fence to two living trees along the line.  I know you are not supposed to do that, but two of these are eight inch diameter tree that some of the fence strands were embedded right through the middle.

  Then we collected our supplies, headed back and let the sheep and goats out.  The sheep (with Lou in the lead) headed immediately for the area we were fixing.  He went right to where the hole was and started baaing loudly.  So we guess that our fencing worked!

Tom found the neighbor's number in the phone book and called.  We apologized for our sheep getting out.  Apparently they had been seen in the lower pastures next to ours for 3 days and then Friday had been in these neighbors back yard- this is three properties away!  Again we apologized and gave them our number to call if they ever spot any sheep again.  We told them we fixed the problem, and it shouldn't happen again.  So hopefully this is the end to our escaping, marauding sheep!

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