There is a lot going on on the farm as the season progresses and we, the interns, got more settled in. I am on turkey, cow and sheep team, which means we feed and move the turkeys in the morning and then go up into the pasture to move the sheep and cows.
The turkeys are still young little six week old birds but are out in the pasture already where the cows have grazed the land a couple of weeks ago.
They have a turkey mobile surrounded by an electric fence to keep them in place. Two days ago one of us interns forgot to turn on the electricity on the fence before leaving to move the cows and two turkeys must have gotten out of the fence. When I went to check on them during lunch break I found one outside of the fence which I caught and put back inside and noticed the fence had been off. The other one was no where to be found and is still missing without a trace. Of the 32 turkeys we had in the beginning only 31 are left now because one of us was not 100% on point at 06:30 am.
Things like this happen all the time on the farm, especially since there are a lot of people in every area of the farm. It showed me how important every little detail is and how important it is for me to stay on top of things and know that I am prone to making mistakes like these as well.
The cows have been pretty easy to move since they already know the routine and we have gotten the hang of setting up and taking down the cow fence. They greet us in the mornings and are eager to get onto fresh pasture. We make out a new area for them according to our grazing plan and once we lift the fence they happily move underneath it onto the new field.
While we where at Glaskogen nature reserve Richard decided to add some sheep to the herd of animals on the farm. He bought five ewes and a ram. The ram has been grazing in the old pig paddock where new forest is coming up and the ewes where moved along the fence in the neighboring pasture. That way the ewes always had contact to the ram which gave them security because they are afraid of their new environment.
In the last couple of days we have tried to get them more used to the morning moves and to humans but they where always very afraid and it was hard to get them to move into the new pasture. In order to make moving easier we now take a bucket with a small amount of grain each morning which is like candy to the sheep and lure them over into the new area. Furthermore one of us goes up during lunch time to check on them and sits down in their paddock with some grain so that they get used to the presence of humans.
They are less jumpy and afraid than in the first couple of days but still very nervous. We still managed to move them onto a patch of land which is away from the ram. This is a great achievement, because they always seek security standing near the ram but we managed to carefully guide them away today.
Hopefully we can progress this to join the cows and sheep into one herd for faster moving in the mornings during the following weeks..