How a sheep goes about eating hay is a matter of personal taste. Any given sheep tends to usually eat the same way every day, but eating habits vary widely from sheep to sheep.
“Look Mama! I’m eating like Auntie Duchess!”
Nova likes to eat off the top of the pile while standing on her hind legs, probably because that’s how Auntie Duchess eats. Duchess has been teaching Nova bad habits Splendid Games pretty much since Nova was born. Lady sometimes eats the same way, but sometimes she eats standing normally.
“Yum, yum, yum!”
Princess feels that you can’t fully savor the hay’s bouquet unless you bury your face in it up to the eyeballs. I have no idea how she can breathe that way. None of the other sheep do that; they prefer to be able to keep an eye on their surroundings while they eat. Princess, like a lot of former bottle babies, isn’t as cautious as most sheep.
Duke tends to pull the hay out of the feeder one mouthful at a time. That way he can glare at everything around him while he’s chewing, just in case any Hated Rivals show up and try to steal his food.
Barney and Liam eat like teenage boys, not surprisingly. Stuff it in your mouth as fast as possible before someone else eats it. Don’t pick through the hay to find the tastiest bits, just steadily plow through the pile until it’s gone. I’m assuming they eat like teenage boys because they are more or less adolescent males. It might also just be a Shetland thing.
Even though he’s also a teenage guy, Neo is different. Neo is a hipster teenage guy. Eating normally is too mainstream for him. Even standing on the hay rack to eat from the top is too mainstream for Hipster Neo.
“It’s fine, ShepherdPerson! I do this all the time, I won’t get stuck! It only looks like I’m strangling myself trying to reach the hay!”
I’m going to have to have a talk with Lady if her son thinks the best way to eat hay is to stick his head through the fence and pull the hay out through the back. I know she’s the one who started him sticking his head through fences, and I don’t want any of her future offspring picking up that trick.
“If my little brothers and sisters do end up eating this way, just remember that I was doing it before it was cool!”
Don’t worry, Neo. I’ll remember. I’ll be sure to remind you when I inevitably end up prying your head loose from the fence when you get stuck.