Counting Sheep

Well, here are the sheep, all 270 of them. The ones I didn’t have time to show you on your last visit. They are grazing next to the farm, enjoying the cool of the evening. Most mornings they will leave at 5.30 am with my father-in-law to graze in higher pastures, before coming back to the sheep barn when it starts to get hot. The sheep (Les Préalpes du Sud for those agricultural buffs amongst you) are a local race.

 Préalpes sheep grazing

The building below, is the sheep barn, or la bergerie as it’s known in French, where the sheep spend the winter months. This is because, by the end of December, there is nothing left outside for them to eat and also because of lambing in January and February which always takes place inside.

bergerie1.jpg

 To the right of the sheep barn is the hangar where all the grain and bales are stored. It was still empty when I took the photo, but now it looks something like this:

Bales of straw

The farm is self-sufficient, so the fields are transformed one after the other into hay and straw bales. Once the first cut of grass and alfalfa has finished, it’s usually time to start again. We are lucky to have irrigation here and water means up to three cuts; weather permitting.

Sheep and irrigation

I think that just about rounds off the visit, although there is something I almost forgot to mention, or rather somebody. Who would have thought that a Pyrenean Sheepdog would be as important to the farm as the tractors?

Flossy, our Pyrenean sheepdog

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4 Responses to Counting Sheep

  1. tut-tut says:

    You certainly have a beautiful backdrop for all of your hard work and care . . .

  2. meredith says:

    It is very beautiful! Have you seen the latest commercial on french TV about “fromage de brebis”, the guy taking the sheep high in the mountains because that’s where they make better “lait” and how the wife gently accuses her husband of preferring the sheep??? Your country view reminds me of that commercial.

  3. The sheepdog is deserving of a throne on the farm!

  4. Betty C. says:

    It’s funny I would find your blog through Sunday Scribblings and not through the French expat blogger circuits — greetings from another expat living in a sheep-filled area!

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