The sheep are moving in a week or two, as planned. My kind neighbors at the original Kibbee homestead have agreed to let my sheep come and live with their tiny flock, and more importantly, in their well-appointed barn and almost-as-green-as-England pastures. While my house has a small shed and even smaller paddock, this farm has a big, old dairy barn converted for sheep with mothering pens and hay feeders and an automatic waterer. It might not sound terribly important to the layperson, but I’m here to assure you that an automatic waterer is sheep Shangri-La compared to hauling (and spilling) buckets of cold, cold water in the dark in January. I am very excited to have my sheep just down the road, but pretty much in sheepy paradise and in shepherd paradise, too.
I have an admission that ties back to this whole moving plan: I can’t actually catch my wild woolly friends. You can’t outrun a sheep, and you’ll never corner one in an electric fence, and Janet will just jump the fence and run away. These girls are very shy and it will take years to fully tame them. So with this move in mind, I am slowly but persistently training them to go back into the pen and shed where they initially arrived, and which they dislike enough that Hurricane Sandy didn’t send them indoors. I can’t blame them: it is small and cramped and configured in a way that would make a sheep fearful. Only grain, that sweet sheep crack, is enough to convince my sheep to go in. It has taken several days starting with grain feeding near the pen, then nearer, then finally today everyone ate grain in the pen except Janet, the shy one. A small victory towards sheep tameness and hopefully a smooth move of sheep in two weeks!
The girls are now one and a half to two months along with lambs.