RicelandMeadows


Come Babies
June 29, 2012, 1:44 pm
Filed under: June 2012

Moving the flock

                                                      June 29, 2012

      Our new lambs are approaching sixty days old. I start moving them almost daily now. Many times I only have them follow me to the barn for a treat of grain. The mothers really like this part 😮

      Our sheep are 99% grass-fed. They only get a grain treat when moving from pasture to pasture. I call to them in an almost singing voice, “Come Babies…”  I shake a five gallon bucket of shelled corn or spelt and head off in the direction that I want them to go.

      I am pretty sure that the sheep are coming for the tasty treat of gran rather than my singing…but hey, whatever works! The ewes come and the lambs follow. In a few moves they begin to realize that moving means reward, at the end of the move. It may be grain, but is most often a new green fresh grass pasture for them to enjoy.

      My ewes all know the drill by now, but the lambs are just learning. It is funny because , just like people, some do not like change! I have a group, led by a small black ewe, who are a rouge band of non-conformers. They scatter away from my delightful singing voice and head for the farthest corner of the pasture.

      I refuse to chase sheep. It never goes well. They get hot. I get hot. They learn to avoid capture at any cost. I get frustrated, often fall down and consider butchering every single one of them… often on the spot!

      It is much better to be patient, coaxing the flock with grain. The greedy ones follow or even run ahead. The timid ones follow a bit behind, but don’t want to be left alone. The rogue devils soon want to be included and come along in spite of wanting to tick me off 😮

      This is our eleventh year with sheep. This early summer ritual takes place every year. So far I am winning, 11 to 0. This ritual keeps me humble, teaches me tolerance and makes me learn the personalities of my flock. I guess it’s a good thing for all of us.

      My horses come when I whistle. The cows come when I holler “Ka-boss” . The hogs run to the sound of me thumping on the bottom of a bucket like a drum. My sheep come to my singing “Come Babies”. I am thinking we won’t ever have ducks..because calling them would …. “Quack me up”.

 


1 Comment so far
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I am so jealous of your eloquence! Oh, and you got me, right at the end! I really did laugh out loud! 🙂

Comment by Charlie




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