Feelin' a bit sheepish...

Beekissed

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Penning the sheep this winter until I can get proper fencing built has yielded a few positive things, though it makes me cringe every time I go up there, as I've always felt strongly about penned animals in small feedlots...and here I am, penning some animals. Can't WAIT to get them out on the land. The incessant and torrential rainfall has really put a wrench in anyone doing anything out on the land right now also, so I feel pretty antsy about getting things started.

But, it has had a few bonuses....Shine, my wild girl, has settled down a good bit when I walk into the pen she seems more accustomed to me, doesn't run like a deer and taking the rest with her. I'm hoping that was God's plan all along, so that when they are out on pasture full time and I want to move them from one paddock to another that don't actually touch each other, that they will gladly follow where I lead.

What charmed the black sheep of the family? Feed, for one...alfalfa cubes or pellets, BOSS and a dab of oats has turned me into "the food bringer". But the real clincher was those peanut butter dog biscuits. Even with the feed, Shine was still very flighty and wouldn't let me get a hand on her...but the power of the peanut butter has her letting me pet her face, walk next to her with our bodies touching, putting my hand on her back~she still will jump away from that but not as violently as before.

It also tamed down another member of the flock....Fat May, previously known as simply May, who would knock you down and take your lunch money if she had a place to spend it on food. Those two ewe lambs were always more laid back than the other two, even on their first day here, but Juniper has since become a wallflower, standing at the back, dodging out of the way of touches and not really enjoying human contact.

Fat May, on the other hand, will now let me randomly grab her head and give her a good scratching as she closes her eyes and tilts her chin for more. She LOVES the peanut butter cookie lady and her jaw scratchies. I sure hope she turns out to have a lot of good positive traits as time goes on, as shepherd life is much easier when the sheep let you touch them or hold them still without fighting you on it. Sure would love to have more easy going sheep that enjoy cuddles....though I could do without them taking out my kneecaps when I have feed in my hand. LOL

Loving this sheeple life!
 

Baymule

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You will get pasture ready for them. They aren’t being abused, you are giving them the best care and they are deciding you are not a monster. Sounds pretty good to me.
 

Beekissed

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Have a chance to pick up some great hay if it turns out to be of good quality. Down here alfalfa or alfalfa mixed with orchard grass is going for at least $6-7 a bale, so I never buy it....but this old fella has some for $3 a bale and stored in the barn. Has 100 bales, so we are thinking of picking up 40 if our trucks and trailer will hold them.

That will be good as a supplement during lambing if our grass hasn't come in well by then. Easier for me to handle out on pasture and more likely to be eaten at that time of year.

Just rolled our last big bale into the pen and they attacked it like piranha....exact same hay as the last bale but each one is greeted like something new and better than the last. Funny girls!

Will be getting a bigger trailer this spring so we can take advantage of any deals for mulch hay to roll out on the land but also to feed next winter....after seeing how the girls went for the middle of those old bales this summer/fall, I've learned my lesson on hay. Why buy expensive when they will eat free hay and get fat on it?
 
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