I went ahead and moved everyone around this morning. They were getting so crazy I decided if I was going to put up with that it might as well be to some use. Plus I wasn’t sure how much longer the fence was going to hold up against Duke.
“I’m finally in with the girls, but now they don’t like me! Why don’t they like me?”
Duke’s hopes were crushed by the fact that neither of the girls are in heat. He ended up with Duchess and Lady instead of Lady and Princess. Splitting up both pairs of ewe BFFs ended up being too problematic, so I left them together. Princess will just have to wean her offspring in her own time. Hopefully before her next lamb is born.
The other side of the field was much more drama-filled. Barney had to come over with the little guys as Duke wasn’t feeling friendly. Despite never having been trained, Barney leads perfectly on a halter so he’s not much trouble to move.
Immediately upon entering the field, Barney and Liam engaged in some friendly getting-to-know-you head butting. Neo didn’t want any part of that and took off for the Clubhouse crying. Barney bowled Liam over and Liam took off after Neo.
Buoyed up by his first-ever victory in a fight, Barney proceeded to take on Princess as well. He probably would have eventually won just by virtue of his size, but Princess absolutely refused to back down and I was worried she’d get hurt, so Barney got kicked out for an hour or two until he got over himself.
When he went back in, the head butting was more on the usual level of normal sheep greetings, where the sheep are not so much trying to determine who’s bigger and stronger, but mostly just sparring to see who’s more determined to be dominant. Princess has enough dominance for any two sheep, so Barney quickly decided to confine his attention to Liam. Which worked out because while Barney was gone Liam had detected that Princess smelled milky, and got very upset that she wouldn’t let him nurse. Being pestered by Barney distracted him from pestering Princess, so nothing escalated too far.
Princess was very unimpressed with this new arraignment. Nothing but uppity males determined to bother her. She kept giving me incredulous looks, clearly thinking I must be the dumbest ShepherdPerson in the history of ShepherdPeople to come up with a plan like this.
Neo was very happy to be reunited with Nova, and the two quickly settled back into the roles of Cool Big Sister and Annoying Little Brother. The two of them bickered with each other and mostly stayed out of the main drama.
Eventually everything settled down with Princess and Nova leading the flock and Liam, Neo, and Barney trailing after them at a respectful distance.
“Males. Hrmph. I thought I made it clear that only girls are allowed in my field.”
Nova’s gotten so big that when she and Princess walk together it’s difficult to see that they’re both there.
I’m still not perfectly satisfied with what sheep went where, but I think this is the best option I have; breeding all four ewes to both rams being impossible.