The sheep aren’t totally convinced they need to stop grazing and live on hay, but they’re very enthusiastic about having hay for breakfast. It’s November, it’s high time they switch to eating hay. They’ve had an unusually long grazing season this year.
“I think we should open this bale next, Mommy!”
Mira taste-tests the hay before I carry it out. She’s such a help. I’m very torn about breeding her this year. She still seems like such a baby sometimes that I worry she isn’t ready, but she’s already older than most of my girls were for their first lambing, so there’s no reason she wouldn’t be ready. It’s a hard decision.
“Hurry! She’s got food!”
fluffballs with legs Shetlands had already moved off to graze, but came hurrying back when they saw the hay. Liam is out in front because food. Lana is in the back because ScaryShepherdPerson holding the food. Nina is undecided.
She has gotten brave enough to eat from my hand, but only if Liam or one of her other friends is right next to her, and Mira is not. (Mira is very firmly against me feeding sheep who aren’t her.) So, not very often thus far. Usually either Mira runs her off or Liam eats all the crunchies before Nina can gather up her courage. But she’s still ahead of Holly, who still won’t eat from my hand at all, so there’s that.
As usual, the hay I put in the boys’ feeder is always much better than what I put in the girls’ feeder. I’m really sneaky about taking it all out of the same bale and acting like it’s all the same, but the sheep are too smart to be fooled like that. They know the boys’ hay is better. Mira insists the hay in the bales at the top of the stack is the best, but I’m a mean mommy and make her get down every time she climbs up there.
“Mommy! Little John and Bran are cheating!”
The crossbreds give themselves a totally unneeded height boost. They got a watered-sown version of the Soay’s climbing genes. They’ll climb, but usually only after food. I have to keep an eye on the boys, to make sure the Dukelings get a turn to eat and don’t end up squeezed out by Duke and the bigger Shetlands. The girls I’m not as worried about, between their two feeders there’s enough room for everybody.
“Can I have crunchies for breakfast?”
Especially once Liam leaves the feeder in favor of begging for crunchies. At least two Soays can eat in the space he leaves. Not that I’m implying anything at all about his weight. It’s just a fact that between his bigger build, his bigger fleece, and any extra bulging around the middle he may or may not have under the fleece, he’s a very wide sheep compared to the Soays. It’s lucky for me he doesn’t have even a watered down version of the Soay’s climbing genes, or he’d probably knock me (and the feeders and the hay stack) down on a regular basis.