The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Grain Thief

March 4th, 2014 · No Comments · Posted in farming


The sheep give me a hard time when I feed the cow her bucket of grain. They’d like nothing better than to get their heads in that bucket and the cow–our Jersey heifer Emily–is too nice to do much about it. So when I deliver hay in the morning, I drop it at the other end of the paddock. The sheep come running for the hay, which allows me to sneak into the paddock and give Emily her morning treat in the walk-in shelter. Emily slurps up the grain while I stand guard.

All but one of the sheep takes the bait. That would be the alpha ewe, Charlotte. As soon as she sees me enter the paddock with Emily’s bucket, she breaks away from the hay feast and starts trotting my way. This is when the games begin.

As Charlotte draws near, I wave my arms and growl, making a big show of trying to chase her away. The ewe slinks to the other end of the walk-in shelter, turns and puts her head down, posing like a cat stalking its prey. I make a run for Charlotte. She turns tail and disappears around the side of the shelter. But it’s no more than a few beats later when she re-appears at the other end of the shelter, poking her head around the corner to contemplate her next move.

I charge. Again, she dashes away and–unseen by me–simply circles around behind the shelter to reappear at the other end. She stands and stares, waiting for me to leave so she can swoop in and get some of that grain.

If I stick around long enough, Charlotte eventually will give up and make her way back to the other sheep clustered around the hay bale. Defeated, she hangs her head. But she never gives up. Tomorrow is another day. The battle for grain is never over.

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