Ewe never know where sheep will go

Saturday was a very challenging day.  My husband rented a trailer and set out to pick up four ewes to bring home as our starter flock.

The breeder had everything well set up and getting the ewes loaded went very smoothly, so that part was fine.  However, once he arrived home, things took a bit of a wrong turn.

The trailer was a smidge too tall for backing into our barn, so he stopped with it a few feet from the front entrance and opened it up.  The ewes were nervous and wary.  I slowly went up to them, talking to them in a moderate tone and encouraging them out.  They started to slowly come out, but my husband jumped in and thought that would speed them through the barn into the pasture on the other side.

Instead they rushed out in a wave and went around the trailer and his truck headlong into the neighbor’s lush pasture across the road.  We both just saw a bunch of dollar signs with horns go running off into the sunset.  It was most distressing.  However, my husband collected himself and went out to them more slowly and painstakingly herded them to the pasture, which we had not yet fenced off.

However, the ewes were very fence trained, so even though there was only some white string and a few t-posts strung up near the edge of the pasture, just before the boundary fence (which has a giant hole in it, and yes, it’s a very high fixit priority), they respected the string and just wandered around near it but didn’t test it.  The whole adventure summoned a neighbor we hadn’t met, who was happy to make our acquaintance and chat a bit.

After that, since the ewes were respecting the string, my husband was able to set up the paddock they are presently in with the goats and all seven animals are chowing down just fine.  These sheep are not interested in trying to escape, they are very mellow and relaxed and just eateateat all day.

The goats were nervous at first and two of them kept digging under the electronet and enduring the shocks just to eat away from the big horned things, but they’ve gotten over it and now everyone has their own little patch to gnaw down.

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The grass is tall, but all four ewes are in this shot, eating the bottoms of the brown stalks. The goats were hiding morosely in the barn when this was taken.

Anyway, we now have four lovely Icelandic ewes of good breeding age and stock and that’s pretty sweet!

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