Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Attributes of Being Not-So-Bright
I spent all last weekend getting the sheep and goats moved around for the winter. This took an incredible amount of effort and energy on my part, as I was determined to use what I already had and not buy anything more.
If you have lived around farm animals as long as I have, you know that the key to it all is thinking like the animal. My brain was constantly switching between thinking like a sheep and thinking like a goat. Two completely different things let me tell you.
What I realized is that I don’t favor one or the other and I very much appreciate the attributes of both. Sheep are not-so-bright and this can be frustrating. Goats are very-bright and this can be even more frustrating. But I am going to stick to the more positive reference of “attributes”.
For the sheep, I needed to put up fencing, as they were about to ruin the grass where they were and where I had intended to winter them. They never, never stop grazing and take the grass down to the ground. Not good.
Using what fencing I had was pretty easy for these guys as they do not look at a fence as a mere hurdle as goats do. My sheep see a fence and go somewhere else. They never stop to calculate the height, weight or sturdiness. A fence is a fence. Again – I am talking about my two Babydoll sheep. Not a herd and not breeding animals.
I even went as far as retrieving one of those ladder thingys that people use to get in and out of a pool (had one in the shop) and placed it so I could basically walk over the fence instead of opening the gate. The goats would have figured that out in no time. The sheep never go near it.
The sheep have at least an acre of overgrown brome grass and weeds to winter in. There is also an old hog shed and they have access to a part of the barn where I feed and bed them and close them up at night. They have not ventured into a tenth of the area. They haven’t gotten into anything, checked for holes in the fencing or even thought of escaping. They were not upset that I moved them and did not complain for a minute. The goats would have done all that and more in a matter of hours.
The sheep come when I call if they see I have the grain bucket and they always do a hoppy-skip on their way to meet me. They don’t head butt each other out of the way.
If I have to turn my back on the sheep to open a gate or close a gate I don’t have to worry about getting my clothes grabbed and chewed as I do every single time with the goats. It is a game with the goats. Grab her coat or pants and pull, letting go just before she can swat you.
Oh, who am I trying to fool. This post is about how much I like my not-so-bright sheep.
I will just have to find something good to say about my very-bright goats another day.
Posted by Michaele 0n Tuesday, October 22, 2013