Sheep are supposed to have free access to a steady supply of specially formulated mineral mix, but I can’t let them have constant access to it because no matter how much I put out or how often I feed it to them, the sillies lick up every single particle as fast as possible trying to make sure they get the biggest share. Mineral mix isn’t meant to be eaten in large quantities, so I end up feeding it to them a small amount at a time to make sure they don’t poison themselves on it.
I was taking a fresh scoop of minerals out to the barn so I’d have a little bit on hand, but Mira jumped up and bumped the scoop with her head, resulting in a fine shower of mineral mix covering her back and Neo’s head. I put some in a trough for them to fight over, but Will had noticed that Mira’s wool was salty and kept chasing her everywhere trying to lick it off instead of crowding around the tray with everyone else.
I still haven’t managed to definitely confirm the udder development on Mira, but she’s definitely got a belly going there all of a sudden.
“Stop walking around, I’m trying to lick the salt!”
Mira quickly got annoyed and hid behind me, so Will decided to go try to lick Neo’s head instead, without much better results.
“Come back here and let me lick your head!”
“No! Leave me alone!”
It didn’t take long before Neo was also seeking refuge by me. Clever sheep know that Will is still skittish around me for whatever reason and I can actually shoo him away from bothering them.
“ShepherdPerson is nice. She keeps my annoying little brother off my head, and gives me hugs, and chin scratches, and crunchies!”
Neo is the most stereotypically “bottle baby” sheep ever to not actually be raised on a bottle. He and I have been good friends since he was a tiny, ridiculously cute baby. In case anyone thought Mira was the only lap sheep around, it should be noted that Neo has also been known to doze off with his head in my lap while having his chin and cheeks rubbed.
“My cuddles! My crunchies!”
…Although not nearly as often since Mira’s been around. Poor guy. He was smaller than Nova when he was born, and I think he genuinely doesn’t realize he’s now the biggest Soay on the farm. (Arguably. Duke has bigger horns and more muscle, but Neo has a bigger frame.)
He’s not easily discouraged, though. He just shifted over to my other side so I could keep petting him.
“Keep petting, please!”
Mira’s nose photobombing, trying to lean across my lap to keep fussing at Neo. Will gathered up enough courage to start nibbling on her salty wool again at that point, so she got distracted running around throwing a fit at him.
“Can I have some crunchies, while Mira’s not looking?”
He really is a big baby. Mira isn’t the only sheep around here who’s spoiled.