Monday, December 17, 2007
Animals in summer, finished barn
Our sheep and lambs prospered this year on the very good grass this land likes to grow. Maine is moist and warm in summer, but not overly hot. Grass grows well and abundently from late April or early May through late September. Farmers typically take two and even three cuts of hay. In season, square baled hay can be bought "off the field" for a dollar-fifty, round bales for $25. Sheep do well in this country, where the only natural enemies are coyotes and other predators. The only reason there are not more sheep in Maine is the lack of a good market for wool and lamb. Americans, it seems, prefer beef and synthetics. Our sheep cut all the grass on the homeplace, and clear a lot of the brush too. Soon they'll started clearing the brush on the leased land too. We let our chickens wander during the day now that they're grown. We raised them on pasture, in a so-called chicken tractor, which you can see in one of these shots. Another shows the finished barn in October, after it was all closed in, and full of hay.