1. BYH Official Poll: What are the things that you should consider before buying herds?
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  2. Baymule’s 4th Lambing. - Discussion thread.
    CLICK HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)

    Dismiss Notice
  3. Dismiss Notice
  4. BYH Picture of the Week (POW) - Submit your Pics Now !!
    Click HERE!
    (if you are logged in, this notice can be dismissed using the "x" to the top right of the notice)
    Dismiss Notice

Couple newb questions...

Discussion in 'Behaviors & Handling Techniques - Sheep' started by kstring, Aug 2, 2018.

  1. Aug 2, 2018
    kstring

    kstring Just born

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    9
    just getting into sheep and have some questions about things I've noticed.

    1) my pasture has a couple small spots of shade...plenty for the few sheep I have but it is spotty in the afternoon. Great shade til noon. Today I noticed the sheep standing in the sun by the gate and panting like they were hot. I grabbed some feed and they followed me to a shady spot where I fed them. They'd eat in the shade and then walk back to the gate in the sun to stand and pant. They have plenty of fresh water by the gate. It's like they are tryin to get in the tiny strip of shade from the fence posts when they have available shade in other places. Surely if they were overly hot they'd stay in the available shade???? I did construct them a temporary shade area by the gate with a tarp to try to help for tomorrow afternoon.

    2) noticed a couple of the sheep at times holding their head low like they were feeding but they weren't eating. they'd pick up and walk around at times but when standing still they'd drop their head unless somethin in particular caught their attention.

    These two things could be just regular ol sheep stuff but both struck me as somewhat odd. Any advice is appreciated.
     
  2. Aug 2, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    10,716
    Likes Received:
    15,368
    Trophy Points:
    613
    Location:
    NE Texas
    Greetings and welcome to BYH from NE TX! So glad you joined us. I've seen questions like this before and I believe the answer came back something along the lines of: "they're sheep... and not all that intelligent". As for the head hanging... Maybe they're just dozing on their feet? I'll tag a few Sheeple from here and hopefully they'll be able to provide some comments. @Mike CHS @Sheepshape @mysunwolf @Baymule and there are quite a few others... There's a wealth of info, knowledge and experience shared in the multitude of threads. Browse around and see what interesting stuff you can find. By all means post away when the desire strikes you, especially if you have questions (provide as much detail/info as possible and pictures truly help)... With all the great folks here, generally someone will respond in no time at all. Please make yourself at home!

    PLEASE put at least your general location in your profile. It could be very important if/when you ask for or offer help or advice. You know, climate issues and such. I recommend at least your state as most folks won't be able to figure out where if you put anything more specific (county, town, street, etc) by itself. Old folks like me will never remember & look there first. To add it, mouse hover over Account top right and a drop down will appear. Click on Personal Details and scan down. You'll see the spot for Location. Then go to the bottom and save changes. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the site!
     
    Mini Horses likes this.
  3. Aug 3, 2018
    Sheepshape

    Sheepshape True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2012
    Messages:
    1,098
    Likes Received:
    1,332
    Trophy Points:
    293
    kstring.....welcome. I hope you enjoy your sheep.

    Generally sheep who are hot will go for any bit of shade they can find. If they were uncomfortably hot by the gate, it's pretty unlikely they'd stay there. I'd guess they know it's the place to get out and are waiting for the opportunity! Whereas sheep tend to behave appropriately in the heat, they don't always pay so much heed to cold, and may take young lambs into exposed places.

    What sort of sheep are they? If they have thick fleeces shearing will help. However, sheep wool is pretty unique stuff. It has a coil-like structure which can become tighter or looser depending on the temperature allowing variable amounts of air (a very poor heat conductor) to be trapped near the skin. So even thick-fleeced sheep can control their temperature to a certain extent.

    Standing with their heads down....looking a bit 'dopey'.....entirely normal. Whereas sheep sleep lying down, either curled up or flat out on their sides (looking dead!), they doze whilst standing.

    Oh, and they're a lot smarter than you may think. Flock behaviour?....crazy. Individual behaviour?....pretty bright. Sheep can remember over 40 faces (sheep or people), and have a good memory for an individual and how they have been treated by them. their brains are wired similarly to ours, they're sentient , and they can be taught to do quite a few tasks that a dog can do (with appropriate food reward!).

    Sheep have a great tendency to follow. Locally there is a road with a cattle grid which has a metal strip only a few inches wide at the edge. I saw a flock of about 25 follow, one after the other, across that small strip to get to the field on the other side. Or as the story goes...Teacher to boy "You have 50 sheep in a field and one gets through the fence. How many sheep are left?" Boy.... "None, sir". Teacher..... "Don't you know anything about maths, boy?" Boy...."Don't you know anything about sheep, sir?"

    Try to provide your sheep with all that they'll need....water, food, shade, shelter, company etc......then try to sit back and enjoy them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
    mystang89 and Mini Horses like this.
  4. Aug 3, 2018
    Mini Horses

    Mini Horses True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1,779
    Likes Received:
    3,735
    Trophy Points:
    288
    Location:
    S coastal VA
    :lol::clap
     
    mystang89 likes this.
  5. Aug 3, 2018
    kstring

    kstring Just born

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2018
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    9
    Thanks for the info. I'm in the Deep South...MS. and these are hair sheep. I figured this was prolly normal goings on but being inexperienced I wanted to make sure.

    my kids love farm animals which is why we are trying the sheep.
     
    Latestarter likes this.
  6. Aug 3, 2018
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2013
    Messages:
    5,377
    Likes Received:
    13,071
    Trophy Points:
    553
    Location:
    Southern Middle TN
    I have nothing to add to the good info already posted but wanted to welcome you and to say I hope you enjoy it.

    I have sheep in multiple paddocks and they will spend a lot of time by the gates closest to the house since that's where their human food provider comes from. :)
     
    Latestarter likes this.
  7. Aug 4, 2018
    mystang89

    mystang89 True BYH Addict

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2012
    Messages:
    640
    Likes Received:
    774
    Trophy Points:
    238
    Location:
    Charlestown IN
    Nothing to add here either. Welcome. My sheep do the same thing. I have shade for them at ALL times during the day. They still wait next to the barn door waiting for it to magically open.... Smart? Maybe. Common sense? Nope
     
  8. Aug 4, 2018
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    10,716
    Likes Received:
    15,368
    Trophy Points:
    613
    Location:
    NE Texas
    :yuckyuck Maybe that's what I meant rather than a lack of intelligence... I know my goats sometimes seem like geniuses, and other times, ummm not so much. :confused: