I’m at a bit of a loss.
While most of the sheep have become quite tame and approachable, Janet remains stubbornly feral. I don’t take this personally (well, maybe a little…I am a sensitive person!), but for management reasons, it is a real problem. For example, I was moving the sheep back into the barn paddock in order to take down all of their fencing for a total pasture reset. I filled a bucket with enough grain to make noise, and put some grain in the paddock trough, just to keep them occupied.
When I open the fence, everyone but Janet runs headlong into the paddock and starts chowing down. Janet is still in the back of the fenced pasture, pacing frantically. I get out of the way so that I am not intimidating her. She runs out of the paddock, makes a u-turn, and starts running out into another pasture entirely. The sheep eating grain ignore her. She turns and baahs to them. They ignore. It is as though she is trying to convince them to become a wild band of sheep, and they reply, “No, I like being domesticated, thanks.”
While Janet is deciding if she wants to be a solo feral sheep, I am trying to split the difference between being close enough to the paddock gate to prevent my tame sheep from leaving if they change their mind, and leaving Janet enough space to feel comfortable rejoining the flock. After what seems like an hour, Janet decides that friendship prevails over freedom and runs in with a dramatic leap and kick.
Janet has been for sale on this site for a few months now, with no takers. I think she’d do better in a bigger flock, especially on a farm where she would never be outside of an enclosure. Given her parenting failure this winter and her pain-in-the-butt-attitude now, I’m starting to get a hankering for mutton!