Introducing Yourself to an Established Flock

Lizzy733

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Hello everyone,

We'll be moving into a lifestyle block with an established flock of sheep - roughly ten ewes, most 2 toothers and many with lambs.

Lockdown's kept me from putting eyes on them myself and I have a laundry list of questions for the current owner regarding their medical and breeding records. There's a ram and a wether as well. Until I get those records, they appear to be a mix of Arapawas and Romneys.

We're in New Zealand, so seasons are flipped if your in the northern hemisphere and we'll be into summer when we take over the block early December.

Would you guys have any advice on introducing ourselves to the flock and gaining their trust? Any treats suitable for this that won't throw out their diet? I'm not sure how sensitive the rumen really is as I've not kept ruminants before.

Would plonking myself down with a mini bale of Timothy hay for a few hours be a bad idea?

One month away is both too soon and too far.

Starting to get excited,
Lizzy
 

Mini Horses

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Posted on your thread about buying.

I suggest you get with person currently tending the flock and get info on what is normal for them. Go from there.
 

Baymule

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Is there a barn for them or a small fenced in area where they could be fed? I sit on low stool, or box, something that puts me at eye level with the sheep and just sit quietly. They get curious and approach. It may take a little time, but they will recognize that you are not a threat. I also hand feed whole corn, I have LOTS of friendly sheep!
 

Lizzy733

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Posted on your thread about buying.

I suggest you get with person currently tending the flock and get info on what is normal for them. Go from there.
I intend to, but that may not be an option due to current lockdowns - I haven't been able to physically get onsite as it's in another region. We can move under the current lockdown levels, but can't view or do any pre settlement checks. We have a friend in the area who's been helping so far, but they're new to the farm life too.
 

Lizzy733

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Is there a barn for them or a small fenced in area where they could be fed? I sit on low stool, or box, something that puts me at eye level with the sheep and just sit quietly. They get curious and approach. It may take a little time, but they will recognize that you are not a threat. I also hand feed whole corn, I have LOTS of friendly sheep!
There looks to be one main field and 2 smaller ones up the ridge, and another small one in front of the garden. They're in the main field now. Would assume the ram and maybe the wether are in one if the smaller paddocks. There seem to be a few minor shelters, but I don't see any barns.
 

Baymule

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If you have a small pen to feed them in, close the gate and sit quietly in the pen so they can get used to you.
 

Cotton*wood

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I agree with Baymule--just sitting quietly with them--on a bucket or even chair, and having alfalfa pellets for treats. I did that when I first got my sheep (and now too, for that matter). All of the original ewes got very friendly, some sooner than others, and now of the wild lambs, three are super-friendly, and four still very skittish, but since I'm there every single day, and I move slowly, and do nothing but good things, like open the gate to the next paddock, and bend down tree branches for them to browse, and bring treats if we have to move any distance to the next paddock, two of the skittish ones are regularly sniffing my outstretched finger and not running away so fast.

Sounds like an exciting transition!
 
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Lizzy733

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I agree with Baymule--just sitting quietly with them--on a bucket or even chair, and having alfalfa pellets for treats. I did that when I first got my sheep (and now too, for that matter). All of the original ewes got very friendly, some sooner than others, and now of the wild lambs, three are super-friendly, and four still very skittish, but since I'm there every single day, and I move slowly, and do nothing but good things, like open the gate to the next paddock, and bend down tree branches for them to browse, and bring treats if we have to move any distance to the next paddock, two of the skittish ones are regularly sniffing my outstretched finger and not running away so fast.

Sounds like an exciting transition!
Indeed!

20 days till the big move.
 

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