Containing The Baaaby!

Shanks, the poddy lamb, is now sixteen weeks old! Where does the time go?

If you haven’t been following, here’s a catch up.

At the end of May this year, B1 called (we were on our way home from Sydney) to tell us about a poddy lamb for sale in Jindabyne and asked do we want it? We hummed and hawed as we were not set up for a two week old lamb. He would have to be bottle fed several times a day and how were we going to shelter him? At that time, our overnight temperatures were down as low as -8 degrees.

We said yes and from the minute he arrived, chaos reigned! Shanks didn’t like the laundry, in fact he did didn’t like being alone at all. I spent the best part of three weeks sleeping on the lounge with Shanks sleeping on the floor next to me. I didn’t sleep because when he wasn’t sleeping, he was busy. He was attracted to the fire and I would spend most of the night worrying about him burning himself on the glass or up shooing him away from the hot glass.

During the day he followed me around, everywhere! Eating toilet paper, raiding the compost bucket, head butting me, weeing and pooing (a lot)…the list goes on. We still had crappy carpet at that stage, in case you were wondering.

Anyway, that’s all a distant memory now and I am happy not to be sleeping half awake on the lounge.

Shanks was originally destined for the freezer (the reason for the name) however we have decided to keep him for when our recently purchased ewes arrive. The meat eaters that love meat only if it can be purchased from the butcher will be rejoicing. Fingers crossed he does his boy duties well. We are a bit worried that he is a mamby pamby and those girls are just going to push him around.

For now he spends his day wandering the house paddock eating, relaxing and bleating. Have you ever heard a lamb bleat when he has a mouth full of grass? Too funny!

That’s the catch up out of the way.

The next part of the plan should have been fencing however some sheep (ewes) came up for sale not too far from where we live. We have paid a deposit and thankfully the farmer is happy to hold onto them until we are ready.

And now for the fencing. The existing fences on the property are pretty run down. Mr D and I decided to erect new fencing within the existing boundary rather than spend money on the old one. Sheep don’t respect fences, especially the cross bred varieties, so it needs to be rock solid.

Mr D has done all of the planning. Fortunately, the local rural supplies (where the materials have been purchased) have a guy in the warehouse named Guy, funnily enough, who has worked as a fencing contractor and has been happy for Mr D to pick his brains.

Fencing is a process and expensive. It has taken weeks to get to this stage and the constant rain has not helped.

With help from friends, the posts have now been concreted into the ground. These are big posts. The holes are dug by an auger attachment on the tractor to a depth of 900 mm and each gate post has required 10 x 20 kg bags of concrete and every other post 4 x 20 kgs, all hand mixed by Mr D (we priced a petrol powered concrete mixer and decided that for the price, it wouldn’t get enough use).

We are now up to the all of the stuff that goes between the posts. Star pickets, barbed wire, high tensile wire, ring lock and gripples (Mr D loves that word)…

I haven’t been involved up to this stage however I did spend the day on Tuesday helping Mr D with the first stretch of 60 meters. Only 1440 meters to go….

Sunshine and fresh air is good for the soul however I can tell you my body hurts today. I am pleased with progress. I am also pleased that the fencing is happening now in the cooler months so I don’t have to worry about the snakes.

This is a big project. What big project have you got happening at the moment?

Mrs D x

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