Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Shepherdess Report...

It's been nearly a month now, and I'm happy to report we are definitely bonded!

Each sheep has eaten out of my hand now, though Hannah still has some reservations about the matter.  She's perfectly content to just wait me out and clean up whatever little feed has hit the ground (I try to save her a little).   Alexander, on the other hand, is now my biggest fan.  He lets me pet him down the back and scratch his ears, just as long as I have treats.  He, Lincoln and Rummy all love to be pet if it means they get treats.  I get snorts and grumbles from the others- treats are just not enough incentive for petting time.

I survived my first official "ramming".  Technically,  it wasn't me Matthew was ramming, I just got caught up in it.  I had wandered down to the barn, not intending to go in... and since I was not intending to go in, I was barefoot.  Well... I couldn't resist and went just inside the gate to feed them... they weren't crowding too badly, mostly it was Alexander and Cammy and I just hanging out and the next thing I knew there was a flash of black and I saw a lowered head crash into Alexander's side.   Matthew had started about 10 feet back and launched himself into Alexander... evidently not appreciating a line to the feed bucket.  I instantly thought I was going to be stepped on, so I jumped and Alexander's side pinned me against the gate.  He's thankfully very soft and squishy and weighing in just over 100 lbs, I escaped unhurt, though my heart was racing quite a bit!!  Boots are now a standard requirement-- and I will not stand against the gate again!

The boys are quite funny together, butting heads and acting very much like rams from time to time.  Mostly, the flock is very quiet and peaceful, wandering their field trimming the tree line.

Sissy, our guardian dog is now their dog.  We put her in with them, with some trepidation due to her not being so awesome with our baby chickens (read: she discovered that chicken is delicious), but she's been amazing with the sheep.  After an initial round up session, she doesn't chase them at all, just wanders around their barn, walks her perimeter and then spends most of her day laying on the hill in sight of her flock.  We can't seem to keep her in their actual yard... she just climbs out of the gate... but we're convinced she just likes to go up on the hill for a better vantage point.  On another side note- we believe that our sweet Sister Bear is pregnant!   We will be keeping an eye on her and will keep you updated, but if it's true, we will have Patriotic Puppies (should be due around July 4th!).  They will be for sale as livestock guardian dogs and will be raised with the sheep, but if you know our dogs, their personalities would easily lend them to be a giant indoor lap dog too :)!

Sis is an awkward picture taker...

... wasn't even using a flash.  Weird dog.  She really is pretty. 

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