It’s been hot here on the homestead the last couple of weeks but I feel as though Fall might be right around the corner. At least I really hope so and everyone wearing a fleece agrees with me.
A little bit ago something happened that has both made my life easier and more insane. The sheep realized that the goats get grain every night to come in. Then the sheep were all “OMG I want grain too!” and my life went insane.
Now no one will do anything I want them to with out their ration of grain. I have to hold the bucket above my head when I go into the pasture so that I don’t get mauled. I have to make sure to keep the bucket away from heads and not put it on the ground as the sheep like to go in and lick the last bits of grain up. This wouldn’t be a problem…..except the bucket has a handle – naturally – and some how this handle is awesome at looping itself over a sheep’s neck or around their neck and front hoof! I only had to chase two panicking bucket stealing sheep across the pasture to realize never to put the bucket down again. One of the yearlings had it around his neck and arm pit and was running at top speed away from me (because ya know, I might EAT them) at one point it had both it’s front legs in the bucket and was doing a modified sack race. It was ridiculous and when it finally fell over and gave up I had to double triple check to make sure he was ok. Honestly, he was fine but being a little bit of a drama sheep. He was all “Fine! FINE! Just kill me now! Do your worst! I’m ready to die!” and I was all like “Get your ass up you damn sheep” and when I took the bucket off he looked at me strangely and ran off.
Now that I am grain bringer I am not so fearsome. I am a benevolent ruler of all things on four legs. I kind of dig it, I just wish they’d be a little more patient with letting me feed them.
Now every time I walk into the pasture everyone thinks they are getting grain. I have a load of addicts on my hands.
This one in particular gets a little wild eyed and starts licking her lips. It’s enough to make a person thank god sheep are vegetarians – they are right? If I fall down they won’t eat me will they?
I’ve been also working with them really hard since the whole “Great Sheep Escape”. Along with a little bit of grain every night to bring them in I have been hand feeding it to them. The two black yearlings from last year don’t trust me but everyone else comes right in. I’ve got my two twin lambs (the chocolate one in the picture above) and her sister even letting me give deep cheek scratches, ear rubs and chin scratches with out grain. This is a huge accomplishment fo me because these sheep are not pets. They don’t want you to touch them they just want you to feed them and be left alone.
The pygoras are also doing really well. They’ve settled in really nicely with the other goats and I love to see them all run in a herd. There are two that are small enough to fit through the goat fence *sigh* but thankfully they don’t go anywhere when they can’t figure out how to get back. I came home from dropping my inlaws off at the airport to hear a goat CRYING it’s heart out. Afraid that it was hurt I went to investigate. Well it was in my neighbors pasture by itself crying for help. So I grabbed a grain bucket and a lead rope (that can be made into a nifty goat noose easily) and headed over. I always wonder what people think of having you on their property. I know if someone was chasing something I would help and wouldn’t care less as long as I got a picture afterward, but I don’t know that other people share my thoughts.
(the goat that escaped was Blue Steel – the one in back making the classic Zoolander face). So I caught the wooly bugger and tried to lead it along. But people. That goat was just being such a wimp and it was HOT. So HOT. So I picked up the goat because it’s maybe 30-40 pounds tops, and I start walking back through the pasture. Now I’m super hot, my pants are falling down – overalls are ordered! – I’m tripping over long grass and decide this is bullshit. I walk over to the fence, roll the goat so that he’ll land feet first and drop him over the fence into my own pasture. He landed on his feet just fine and scampered off crying for the other goats.
Now at this point, I’ll admit I was worried because I had yet to see my other goats. I was now of the impression that all the goats had somehow escaped and I was doomed to repeat “The Great Sheep Escape”. I walked around the property line, back into my own pasture with my grain bucket and lead rope – just in case – and set off looking for the goats. Well the sheep were all about me because I had grain, and the turkeys were chasing because apparently I am Queen Sexy Turkey and they LOOOOOVVVVEEE me, and the geese came because it’s not a party with out the geese and they really just want to make sure everyone’s following the rules. So with my circus in tow I head out. It didn’t take me long before I spotted them behind a huge pine tree.
There they were, nibbling on a bush completely ignoring everyone. Moral of the story? If you are in a pack you won’t be left behind, if you are in a herd you better not fall behind because they will leave you and ignore your crying sad ass.
In other news Kodiak is now as much friends with the goats as Tank is. Apparently everyone loves a goat and I can’t really blame them. They are cute as buttons and sweet as sugar.
Tank and Kodiak are truly brothers. They rough house and tease each other in a way that only boys who love each other can.
I’m working constantly with the little man and his recall skills are getting better every day. Soon I hope he’ll be ready for sheep herding classes.
Also, I’m still dealing with this.