The Cold Bothers Me. A Lot.

Winter has finally caught up with us. I’ve dumped the first ice-encapsulated drowned mouse out of the water tub, so it is officially winter now. I disposed of the poor thing with a minimum of Captain America jokes.

I understand why, on the ecological level, the temperate zones have to have a certain number of days below freezing in order for the plant and insect life to come back correctly in the next growing season. It’s just that the sheep don’t understand why, on the biological level, days below freezing make their ShepherdPerson want to pull the covers over her head and not come out until spring.

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“What are you complaining about? This isn’t cold, this weather is perfect! Except for the water freezing, I don’t like that too much.”

I’ve never heard any other people with horned sheep mention this problem, but I’ve noticed that even though Liam’s horns are nowhere near tight enough to interfere with his jaw movement, once his fleece gets to a certain length they’re somehow cutting through the wool on his neck. I would think it would be painful, but he doesn’t act like it’s bothering him. I’m not sure if I should trim the wool out from under his horns, or just leave it alone.

I would say the loose clumps make him look like he has mutton chops, but we don’t like to use the word mutton around here. Politically incorrect, and all that.

After I’d finished making Liam nervous by staring at his wool, I did a headcount on the girls and came up one short. Yesterday it was Princess and Lady who wandered off, today it was Mira. She wasn’t out of the fence, so I went back up to the barn to look for her.

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“Hmm, I think I’ll start with this bale…”

It seems to be the universal opinion of bottle babies that they shouldn’t have to push and shove with the common folk to eat their food. In Mira’s defense, it’s hard to push and shove when you’re so much smaller than everybody else. Princess in particular tends to butt Mira away from the hay rack during the “breakfast rush” unless I stand between them and keep pushing Princess’s head away.

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“Oh, hi Mommy! This whole pile of hay is mine! That’s why you chased Princess away from it, right? Because it’s all mine?”

Isn’t there somewhere else you’re supposed to be right now, young lady?

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“Yes. The house.”

Everything always seems to come back to that with Miss Mira. She still treats being put in a stall with the other sheep like a personal affront. She likes playing with other sheep though, even if she’d rather be in the house. Last time I looked out to check on them she was following Will around butting him in the rear and hopping up and down, so I’d say she’s doing fine.

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14 thoughts on “The Cold Bothers Me. A Lot.

  1. I had to teach Liddy how to negotiate group hay eating. She figured it out in a couple of days, but she still likes to have some hay stall time every night…and I let her ;-).

    • Oh, Mira *can* eat at the feeder, she’ll climb on the bigger sheep’s backs to reach the hay if she has to. She just prefers not to because she’s a little bottle baby and she doesn’t like to share.
      And she usually has to wait until Princess is finished, because Princess is a *big* bottle baby who doesn’t like to share. 😉

      • According to the latest blog post from Nistock she was doing well, which I was very happy to read. 🙂 it’s always scary when the little ones get themselves hurt.

  2. My girls sometimes rub divots in their neck fleece with their horns too. If it looks like it’s getting close to skin or irritating at all, I trim a few inches of the horns.

    • I think his horns are fine, there’s a good two inches between the horns and his skin, I was just thinking about trimming the wool so it didn’t get pulled/rubbed by the horns.

  3. I’m being bad to cater to Mira’s spoiledness, but I say let her have her own bail. If she becomes self-important enough, she might be able to put Princess in her place.

    Liam’s fleece is definitely stare-worthy…

    • She might, we’ll have to wait and see. Princess was already flock queen at Mira’s age, but she came here with only Duke and two ewe lambs her own age to compete with, instead of having to integrate into an established pecking order with mature ewes. Mira has a very different personality than Princess, I can’t quite picture her as flock queen. But she is quite determined when she wants her own way, so she might surprise me…

  4. Your sheep are so cute!

    I feel bad for the poor frozen mouse, though I’m sure he’ll be a crucial member of the Mouse Avengers. LOL!

  5. The horns on my guys cause nothing but trouble. Not at all sure why breeders haven’t long since bred them out of domesticated sheep. At least Liam’s are handsome, small comfort as that is.

    • I can see how horns would be annoying from a getting stuck in things viewpoint, but they’re invaluable for catching fast, agile sheep. Catching Duchess and Mira vs catching any of the horned sheep ends in a lot more bruises and stress for both of us.

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