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Violet, Dale, Oreo, and Diamond work for Delhi Township. They're sheep.

Delhi Township sheep
Sheep.jpg
Delhi Township sheep .jpg
Posted at 7:30 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 07:30:24-05

DELHI TOWNSHIP, Mich. — If you pass by the Delhi Township's wastewater treatment plant, you may have noticed a flock of sheep on Grovenburg road. They aren't just there for show. They're working.

Roger DeYoung is a maintenance mechanic at the wastewater treatment plant and one of the caretakers for Violet, Dale, Oreo, Diamond and the other 29 sheep.

Delhi Township sheep .jpg
Violet, Dale, Oreo, and Diamond are just some of the names of the 33 sheep near the Delhi wastewater treatment plant.

"I water them. I keep their water trough full and make sure it's de-iced. And I bring them grain out there like I said to supplement their diets, and I go out there and count them to make sure they're all there," said DeYoung.

DeYoung said he never thought he would be taking care of sheep.

Delhi Township sheep

"I've seen a lot of funny things with the sheep. They kind of got a personality. They're very stubborn, and if you want to move them from one place to the other, you got to kind of trick them a little bit," he said.

Sheep.jpg
Some of the sheep are eating food that their caretaker gave them.

The sheep have been around since 2009, and they've saved the township more than $50,000.

"It's about a 20-acre parcel, and it's all fenced in, and each summer we would hire a part-time person to just mow it. And it take them like two or three days a week just to mow the place. So, I thought, why not have some sheep that would use the grass to live from," said Sandra Diorka, the director of public services for Delhi Charter Township.

Sheep in Delhi Township

Another benefit the sheep provide is maintaining the slopes.

Diorka said at their lagoons, there's quite a steep slope with big pieces of concrete and rocks, and, when bushes and trees grow in that area, the township has to cut them down.

"We had people obviously get injured with a chainsaw on these rocks. Or just twist ankles, and these guys just do all that for us. And we never have to do that anymore," Diorka said.

There are currently 30 sheep in Delhi Township

They try to use the sheep's wool and make hats, gloves, and yarn.

"We also sell the actual fleece to people that want to spin it or do felting with it. So, we sell sheep products, so we have a little bit of income from that," said Diorka.

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