I had been thinking for several days about what to post next. The sheep are pretty static (boring!) right now. They are “touring” the northeastern field, moving from paddock to paddock daily in a grid pattern. This week’s menu includes clover, reed canarygrass, fescue and a side of bedstraw and wild strawberry plants. We’re not doing anything particularly interesting with them.
I then realized I recently passed an important milestone. My sheep arrived in August of 2012, making this month my sheep-iversary!
Flashback: I didn’t have a barn when the girls came. They spent three days in a crummy little shed below our porch where they ate a pittance in hay and were generally displeased with life. It took 36 hours for them to get brave enough to venture out on pasture. They wouldn’t come NEAR me or relax around me at all. I was very, very careful moving around them – no eye contact, no sticks or stick-like items in hand, slow and deliberate. I could only move them from one fenced enclosure to another – no running across open pasture with a grain bucket. I didn’t have a ram for the ewes. Finding one proved to be a lengthy process, though I met some inspiring people on that journey. Rehoming the ram after the breeding season proved equally difficult so I wound up giving him away as I had no place to keep him and no companion for him.
Fast-Forward: Now, a year later, I have a barn for the sheep that is appropriate for keeping them. They love being in their barn and run right for it when I let them out of pasture. They have come to associate me with grain, so instead of regarding me with harsh suspicion they now baah the moment they see any sign of my coming. They will follow me across an open field. They had 10 lambs, 9 surviving. The lambs are friendlier than the mothers- my socialization campaign paid off! My new, unrelated ram has companionship and many years’ work ahead of him.
These sheep make me very, very happy. Even when I don’t exactly feel like making them a new pasture or hauling water to them, I see their dear faces and their big, sweet eyes and I immediately feel that I could do anything they’d like. I particularly enjoy sitting among them, letting them come to sniff me at their convenience. I am grateful each day that my dear sheep friends are part of my life.