Yesterday we opened one of the cattle panels around the sheep’s winter quarters to give them a new bale. I closed it again, but tried to make it easy to put in the next bale. A couple hours later I was dumping milk (half pint school lunch thingies) for the pigs, and heard a mighty bashing and crashing. I went to the door and looked. Yup, Leon had smashed his way out and was eating the bird’s grain. They aren’t called rams for nothing. He let me catch him and push him back inside the fence. The poor guy is getting old. He was born in 2000. The fact that he was alone might be involved too. In the old days he’d have had half a dozen out behind him. At the time, I just thought “getting old”.
Then this morning we had a big white puppy issue, and then I stayed behind to close the sheep out of the orchard paddock. They’d scalp it if we let them, and I want to run the tractor through there, which is far easier if I can just leave the gates open.
When I was leaving, I found Lily and her lamb staring at the open gate deciding if they wanted to go out. My bad, but what a difference from her mother and grandmother. Either of them would have been out and working on a grain overdose without even breaking stride to think.
That was when I noticed the difference. Our sheep aren’t really fencebreakers anymore. All the fencebreakers are dead. Kaytla wouldn’t stay out of a wormy pasture. George picked a fight with not one but three Great Pyrenees dogs (He fought like the leadersheep he was, but three to one was too much. And he did start it.) Many more have insisted on their Icelandic heritage of going wherever they feel like going. Did you know that there are no wolves in Iceland? Oops.
I feel bad, but we now have a flock that stays in.