Several months ago when we first bought sheep and learned about wool…we knew that feeding the sheep would be a major consideration in cleanliness of wool. (We haven’t gotten into sheep blankets yet) I found a nice design on Premier One’s website (they are they only reason we sane-ly own sheep: electric net fencing!) I gave the pictures and dimensions to my husband, figuring he would put something together… Then he passed the plans along to my dad…Then our neighbors offered us some rough cut lumber from Old Dominion – how appropriate! I came home from work one day to this:
The metal panel is to keep the sheep from throwing the flakes out, the wood bar across the top keeps them from jumping in, and the chain has a hook on the end, so you can hook up the wire to clean it out between feedings.
We always get it set up in the morning before bringing the sheep over.
We had been feeding our sheep in a small water trough with slats
(effective, off the ground, but messy and they like to jump into it)
Now, we lock the sheep into a small pen at night (it’s easy to trick a sheep – feed a flake of hay in the old feeder, they all come running like it’s Christmas! Close gate, you’re good!)
Come morning, though, Sauvie (below) eagerly awaits a rub under her chin…and for us to open back up the gate!
They RACE to the feeder – and all 9 easily fit around both sides:
Having a spinner’s flock means having what some might call … variety, non-uniform, unconventional – and so yes, the Shetland Bonnet doesn’t fit our plans.
She takes care of business anyway, as you can see below:
Some of the sheep are always spotless, some are never spotless… at this point we’re going to just do what we can, shear in the spring, and re-evaluate for future years what else we can do to obtain the cleanest wool. 🙂