The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Our Sheep Are a Mess

July 9th, 2013 · No Comments · Posted in farming

Even tiny unripe apples look good to sheep

Even unripe apples look good to sheep

We finally moved the sheep into a paddock close to the house thinking they would mow the lawn. But mostly what they wanted to do was make a bed in the pile of stone tailings that came out of the ground where we had our new well drilled.

In our current tropical heat wave here in Upstate New York, the stone pile must have offered some inviting coolness to the panting sheep. They’d huddle on the pile, pawing at it. At first I thought they were looking for something to eat. Then I realized they were making a bed. Rather than eating the overgrown lawn as I’d hoped, they preferred lying around in the tailings, getting grey dust all over themselves to the point that they  looked like the Pig Pen character in the Peanuts comic who travels in a constant cloud of dirt.

Plus, they decided the well head in the middle of the pile was a great place to scratch themselves. At one point I noticed they’d rubbed against the pipe to the point that the cap was askew. I ran out to inspect the damage, only to discover that the blue cap I thought was bolted to the pipe was merely a piece of plastic that had been pressed into place. No damage done.

There was at least one reason the sheep found for lifting themselves off the stone pile. That was the little apple tree outside the kitchen window. Do sheep have taste buds? I can’t imagine they taste much if they can love eating tiny unripe apples so much. They’d stand under the tree craning their necks to wrap their lips around fruit that must be terribly sour. They also ate the leaves off the branches, as they did with a couple of the shrubs in the back yard.

Well, there was nothing special about those shrubs–a rather pathetic attempt at landscaping left by the previous owner. After waiting several days for the sheep to make some headway on the lawn, I finally moved them to the next paddock father up the hill where they seem much happier with a more familiar mix of tall grasses, clovers and weeds. With our daily dose of rain, their coats are losing that grey tinge as well.

I expect them to grow gills any time.

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