My sheep have constant access to a loose mineral mix specifically formulated for sheep, which means no added copper. Even though the mix is constantly available, there’s usually a big rush on the feeder whenever I refill it, complete with a lot of pushing and shoving.
“Beat it, Shorty. The big girls are eating.”
“Mama! They’re being mean to me! They won’t let me have any salt!”
“They’re what?! Show me the bullies, Sweetie. We’ll get this straightened out Right Now.”
“There you go; the nasty bullies are all gone. Eat all you want. Nobody messes with my baby!”
Princess ran everybody else off and stood guard until Nova had finished eating. There are definite perks to being the daughter of the leadersheep.*
*Technically, the term “leadersheep” refers only to a specific line of Icelandic sheep. I call Princess my leadersheep because she does everything the Icelandic leadersheep are bred to do, and because it’s the only term I know of for a sheep that leads the flock the way she does. The nearest other term I could find was in bighorn sheep, where the leader of a ewe flock is generally called the matriarch. Princess being only a yearling ewe, “matriarch” just sounds too venerable for her.