Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sheep Hierarchy.

It's fascinating to watch the ongoing soap opera that is my sheep's daily life.  Since the arrival of the lambs, subtle but interesting shifts in the flock hierarchy have occurred.  I had taken the first step - I lowered the entryway space to the main hoop house so that Hoosier couldn't get his wide butt in there and take up all the room.

During better weather (all three hours of it that we've had since Sunday), Flora, Freyda and their lambs nestle down in the primo real estate under the big pine tree.  Everyone else is catch-as-catch-can.  Once the rain really starts coming down, the Grand Dames and offspring sashay into the main hoop house and oust anyone already in residence.  That leaves Bartie, Juno and Coco(nut) to shuttle to the not-as-nice hoop house.  Which then puts Hoosier back outside under the tree.  And so it goes.

The little black-faced ewe lamb (who's name seems to be developing into Sally) is very vocal and has figured out that the hoop house = warm + dry.  She spent some time this morning going into the hoop house and bleating for her mother to follow.  Flora, however, was hock-deep into her breakfast hay.  Sally gave up and went back under the tree.  She tried, ever more loudly, to convince her mother to move three more times.  Flora finally gave up and followed her in, to find that I'd hung hay in hay bags.  She never looked back.

It is waaay too much fun watching those lambs.  I almost forgot to go to work today!


  1. That sounds like the best TV show ever. I wish I got that channel.

  2. The dynamics of animals is just so interesting to watch. Don't they add so much LIFE to the homestead??

  3. I can see it all happening...... :-)

  4. That's one smart lamb, I'd be in the hoop house, too!

  5. Susan you are a genius!

    "Sorry boss, but I can't make it in today, I'm watching my chickens / sheep!"

  6. Jane & Mama Pea - Yes, they are too cute for words! I noticed this morning that they are bouncing further and further away from Mom.

    Dr. Momi - thanks for commenting! I love your 'handle'.

    Erin - She is very smart. And noisy. When they bleat, their little pink tongues go straight out!

    APG - That llama keeps me on my toes. But I know his weakness - gingersnaps. I keep a pocketful on me at all times!

  7. Congratulations on your lambs! Absolutely adorable. Over here, we're waiting on baby goats!

    Interesting post. The whole flock/herd "pecking order" thing is fascinating to watch, especially any time there are changes!

  8. Leigh - baby goats, be still my heart! I am waiting for my baby Nigerian Dwarf doeling to be weaned so she can join us (with a wether for company). I'll have to say that it is fascinating to watch. It is always in flux, when babies are involved. I will have to check your blog for new arrivals!