The Eternal Sheep Question

is, of course, “why do we have sheep?”.  This question came up today, a few times in fact.  I went out to the barn yard with the innocent idea that I would walk the pack goats and milk the nursing goat.  When I got out there I noticed that the larger flock of sheep and goat were in 1-2″ of water in the majority of their field after the downpour of last night.  I told myself this would not do; it is bad for their feet.  So my options were to put them in with the skinny old sheep (and we learned from Blind Bob’s recent experiences that this was not a good idea), put them next to the bucks, or put them next to the rams.  I chose the rams since the majority of our sheep should not be cycling this time of year while the goats will be.  So I moved the flock over, no problem.  Then I decided to get the pack goats for their walk.  Because most of the gates are fairly flooded too (see Neighbors for explanation why) I decided I had to move the pack goats through the rams and the flock to get them to the gate to the trails.  So we trotted through the ram pasture, no problem, and then one goat Sparrow was not smart enough to negotiate the gate into the flock.  I did not want to leave him with the rams for fear of his safety.  So I tried various maneuvers to entice him through the gate.  In this process the above bad sheep (plus Monette) decided to make a rush for the gate and got through.  Immediately the rams started to ram the wethers and mount Monette.  So I closed (but did not latch- this will be important soon) the gate and went to separate the rams from the now-victims and just as I was successful in my endeavor, the entire pack of sheep came busting through the gate into the ram’s pasture- why I will never know.  Immediate bashing and mounting started.  I attempted to separate them but had no luck.  So I went and got hay to entice them into the next field.  A few bought this idea, but most did not.  I kept trying to chase and separate and then Tom came home.  I hollered for him to please come help me.  We proceeded to attempt to chase, entice with grain and separate and managed to get most of the flock plus one ram in the next field.  Then we couldn’t catch Jocko, although we had his love interest in hand.  In the attempts finally the flock went back in the ram pasture.  This is when Tom was asking the eternal sheep question over and over as well as using bad words like “rifle”.  At this point I finally got the bright idea to chase all of the sheep into the barn and then catch the rams.  Here are some of the caught sheep.  (I did not think to take photos during the high drama of sheep chasing- and would have gotten in trouble if I had.)

This plan worked well.  We hooked the rams by the horns, drug them out and then chased them into the farthest field.  Here are the disobedient rams after their ordeal- still huffing and puffing.

Finally the sheep are let out of the barn.  Tom apologizes to me for some of his words, but I told him he needed to apologize to the sheep instead.  I am not sure we got an answer to the eternal sheep question, but at this moment little Diddley jumped up on us for a chin scritch.  Tom told him to stop being cute but Diddley just can’t help it.

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9 Responses to The Eternal Sheep Question

  1. Michelle says:

    GOOD Diddley; just what was needed at that moment! 😉

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  2. Teresa says:

    Thank goodness for those adorable little ones! I confess I had a few threatening comments this morning as I tried moving 15 kids and 5 adult goats off the road, through the rest of the herd and back to where they belong. Did you ever get your walk, or was that enough exercise for the day?

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    • You are right- thank goodness! We did not intentionally breed except one goat this year so have less little ones to lift our spirits but last year’s ones are trying to make up for it. Plus now we have unintended pregnancies for goats and sheep so it looks like more little ones are on the way !?! I did not get my walk. All that chasing was plenty of exercise plus not what I am supposed to be doing for my back (it was telling me so too).

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  3. Tina T-P says:

    Oh, bad sheep! I don’t know, it must have something to do with the cooler weather – Pearl (who did NOT get pregnant last fall) has come into heat THREE times – she is always out there making kissy faces at Vern. Maybe nothing happened and you won’t have fall lambs after all… T.

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    • They are bad sheep! From previous experience I know some Shetland sheep do cycle this time of year. I witnessed stuff happening so at the very least Dixie will likely be having Jocko’s lambs. We’ll just see what else happened during this sheep breach.

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  4. sheepsclothing says:

    Thank goodness for cute little guys like Diddley! Chone is just like that too 🙂 Always makes me smile. Perhaps it should be the Eternal Ram Question…. the girls might be more manageable without the rams in residence, no?

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    • Donna says:

      Yes thank goodness for Diddley and Chone. I am not sure I can blame the rams for this one since it was more wethers breaking out. But if I didn’t have rams it would not have been as big a deal. But if I didn’t have rams there wouldn’t be a Diddley or a Chone. So a mixed blessing I would say.

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  5. Pingback: Surprise! | Schoonover Farm Blog

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