When you’ve been letting the sheep out into the yard for a few hours most days so they can eat the grass, they start thinking they’re entitled to it. Then they stand at the gate and make sad faces when you don’t let them out right away.
“We’re hungry! Starving! Let us out!”
It’s a sad fact of life that the dogs need to use the yard, too. Hungry sheeps who won’t eat their hay have to wait their turn.
“I still think if we climb this brace we could get out on our own!”
Lady’s been working on that theory for a while now. I dread the day she figures out how to make it work. So far she’s been balking at moving her hind hooves onto the brace. I have assured her it is indeed a scary thing and she shouldn’t try it.
As soon as she does, Holly will be right behind her, and all the other Soay ewes after that. I think Neo is probably too big to climb that brace, and the Shetlands definitely couldn’t make it, but the girls probably could if they really put their minds to it. Shh, nobody tell them.
“She’s not going to let us out! We’re going to starve! Time for emergency measures!”
It’s a little hard to see, but when they concluded I wasn’t going to let them out four or five of the Soays decided to keep themselves alive by eating the bark off of that tree stump. Which was really very overdramatic, since they had a whole feeder full of hay. Nasty hay, I’m told, but it couldn’t be worse than tree bark. And there actually is grass in their field, it’s just been grazed so short over the winter I’d rather they leave it alone until it has a chance to grow a little taller.
“Finally! We’re saved!”
Miraculously, nobody died of starvation while waiting an hour or two for the dogs to have their morning run and go back inside.
Speaking of Miracles…
“Hey, everybody’s looking at the grass! Quick, give me some crunchy treats!”
I’m not sure, but I think I noticed what might be the beginnings of an udder on Mira this morning, in one of the brief moments she turned her back to me. She’d be due on April 10th, so the timing is about right.
“Me too! Give me sneaky extra crunchies, too!”
Duchess does not have any udder development. She was bred
against my wishes about two weeks after Mira, so I’m not really worried about it yet, but I’ve told her on no uncertain terms that if she has another baby she can’t feed I’m taking it out of her treat allowance. I’m moderately sure she is pregnant, because she hasn’t been acting like she’s in heat since she was bred, and for her that’s a big deal.
The downside of letting the sheep in the yard is when you go back inside, and certain people think they still have house privileges.
“Ooh, I see a whole box of crunchies on that table! Are we going inside now, Mommy?”
We aren’t. I am. You get into the full boxes of crunchies and the sheep feed bin and you’ll explode.
“Hey! Mommy! You forgot me!”
Sigh. You give them a yard, and they’ll take the whole house. Yes, she is rapping on the door with her hoof.
Eventually she gave up and wandered back out to the other sheep, radiating displeasure about the unfairness of it all and how she’s out there all alone except for all of her friends, and Mommy is just so mean. Took me right back to when I was weaning her and she kept getting out and bursting into the house through the dog door.
I hope she has a daughter just like her. I shall nickname her ShepherdPerson’s Revenge. And spoil her rotten.