March came in like a lion this morning, with thunder, lighting, strong wind, torrential rain, flash floods, tornado watches, the works. The sheep had to wait an extra hour for breakfast because the storm was too bad for me to walk out to the barn.
Once things died down to to a steady rain, I ran into another problem. I’ve run out of hay that the sheep will eat, and the pastures aren’t quite ready to pick up the slack yet. I’ve been having trouble with them refusing to eat some bales while agreeing to eat others with no difference I can tell between them, or refusing to eat a certain bale one day but diving all over it the next day, but this was the second or third day in a row they flat out refused to eat any of it, and my pregnant girls were hungry to the point of distress.
So, lacking any other options, I decided to put the dogs up and let the sheep into the yard for a while, where the grass is taller. Most of the Soays ran right out, but Lana wouldn’t go through the gate, so Liam, Nina and Will Scarlet stayed with her and dug through the “nasty” hay looking for any bits they could stomach. Normally Will would have gone with the rest of the Soays, if only to keep up with big brother Neo, but Lana is Will’s latest unrequited crush so he decided to stay behind. It is scary how well his name fits him.
“Grass! We’re saved!”
I retreated to the back patio to take pictures with the long-distance zoom, so they could concentrate on the grass instead of mugging me for crunchies. I thought they wouldn’t get into too much trouble in the upper corner of the yard, and I was pretty sure they’d stay in that corner since the rain had left a pretty wide “river” cutting them off from the rest of the yard, and everybody knows sheep won’t cross running water.
“Hi, ShepherdPerson! I’m coming for crunchies!”
Everyone except Nova knows sheep won’t cross running water. And of course once Nova did it, the taboo was broken and they all did it. Some with more splashing than others. I feel like it would be easier to outsmart them if they didn’t learn from each other so fast. All those little sheep heads together are better than my one.
“Hey, didn’t the Clubhouse used to be here? Where’d it go?”
All the lambs except Nova, Holly, and the Dukelings were born in the old Clubhouse, which was indeed about where the girls are standing. Holly and the Dukelings (that sounds like a band) were born in the new barn last year, and Nova was born in the back left corner of the yard, because Nova just had to be special and enter the world outside instead of in a cozy shelter like everyone else.
They spent quite a while poking around that area, so I think either some sheep scent must still be there or they just remembered where they used to live.
“No fair! We want the new grass, too!”
The poor boys all stood there in a huddle yelling about the unfairness of it all until the girls came running down to the fence to say hi. I laughed at them for standing in the rain to keep an eye on the girls until I remembered I was also standing in the rain to keep an eye on the girls. Then I laughed at all of us.
“We want food! All this eating makes us hungry, ShepherdPerson!”
After about an hour of frantic grazing they all got the simultaneous urge to run me down demanding crunchies, so I assumed they had enough grass in their tummies for the time being and lured them back into the field so I could go inside, dry off, and have breakfast. And the dogs could go outside and lose their minds because they smelled sheep in the yard.
They’re nibbling on the hay a little bit right now, but I may let them back into the yard for a while this afternoon while the dogs are taking their nap. The weather is gorgeous now that the storm has blown over, so it’ll be easier to sit outside with them and keep them from eating the landscaping.