The Great Escape (s)

It was bound to happen but I didn’t anticipate it so soon in my adventure.  The sheep took a field trip to the lawn.  The main suspects are me (I’m mostly sure I latched the pen) and friendly ram.  Friendly ram is keeping mum and the other sheep are backing him up, so, that makes me the main suspect. I plead the fifth.

J spotted them from the breakfast nook window and off we went.  I am a complete newbie and it was painfully obvious in this exercise. I managed to get four sheep back in and the rest in with the chickens (not good at all).  J managed to move them out of the chicken pen (now full of irate hens and with the appearance a war-zone) and back up to the lawn, around the garage, and back into their pen. My job during this second attempt? Stand guard at the chicken pen.

My afternoon involved the nice calm task of labeling egg cartons.

J went to town in the evening so I was in charge of egg collecting and animal feeding.  While putting out hay for the sheep I noticed most of the noses were missing.  Yup, only one, two, three, four noses. Not good. A quick look revealed the problem. J had moved the flock to a connecting pasture and they managed to move into the next pasture over.  There they were.  All lined up along the fence with no idea how to get back. And me, with no idea how to get them back.  I could see no gate.

Off I tromped to walk the fence. Nope, no gate along this side. Up the other side about two thirds of the way down by the water pump. A panel shoved aside giving entry to a run. At the end of the run entry into the wrong pasture. At my end of the run a panel down leading into the wrong pasture.

So I’m pretty clever (stop laughing!) and decide the best course of action is to circle around the pasture to my right coming up behind the sheep.  They’ll run away from me out the gate, up the run, and out the other gate into the correct pasture and home. (Please stop laughing!). The plan worked smashingly, up until they turned left through the downed panel back into the wrong pasture rather than right through the gate into the correct pasture.  I let them have their laugh while I propped up the downed panel and started over. Attempt two (I beg of you, please stop laughing): Worked! Except for a dainty white sheep who got confused at the last moment and ran back down the run.

Its getting dark. There she is at the end of the run baaing to her friends.  So what else could I do? (You can laugh at this one). I began baaing too.  I figured maybe she would recognize me as a friend and come running.  She did! It worked until she saw me and got startled that I wasn’t sheep shaped. Off she was back to the other end of the run.  Time to evaluate the plan.

What do I need to change? Where I am.  I backed up so I was beyond where I wanted her to turn. Baaing commenced, she came running, and took the right hand turn into the correct pasture! Hallelujah! And it was still light enough for me to find my way back to the barn.

Good night chickens, good night sheep.



2 thoughts on “The Great Escape (s)

  1. Hmm. Sounds like Gil needs to pay you a visit and give you his Basic Stockmanship 101 class. Either that or make friends quickly with your nearest Border Collie 😉 .

    • Ah, Gil is a great herder, but alas these are Icelandic sheep. One of two things happen with a herding dog. They will scatter in 20 different directions, “Every sheep for herself!” Or, they will bunch up and stare down the dog, “You and what army?” It’s part of the fun of primitive breeds.

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