Saturday, May 03, 2008

Jailbreak

For the past week, the phone has been ringing early in the morning. When it rings that early in the springtime, it is usually one thing – the sheep have escaped their fencing and they are grazing on greener pastures. Traffic jams ensue usually including the school bus. Even in the country, people drive too fast, talk on their cell phones simultaneously and don’t pay attention. I guess when they come upon lots of sheep in the middle of the road, it may make them slow down some… at least I hope so. Definitely good for water cooler conversation.

The Farmer’s brother and sister-in law are extremely patient. Our sheep winter in our greenhouse barn across the road from their dairy farm. I guess they are used to people stopping by and telling them the sheep are out. We also have pastures for grazing near our barn but not enough grass for the number of sheep we have. In early spring, the grass hasn’t really started growing at any great rate. It is a challenge to keep the sheep fenced in. Even though they have plenty of food to eat including hay for supplemental food, they always want what’s outside their fence. It's all about the food for sheep.

This was the scene this morning as I arrived with the two Border Collies. The sheep were having a grand old time on top of one of David’s fields.


When they see the dogs coming though, they know we mean business. All of a sudden the entire flock of 200 creatures begins to move, dogs pushing them. They all know where they are supposed to be, they just don't want to be there.

Then it was time to increase their present fenced-in pasture. We wound the woven wire electric fence up through the woods and through a pine grove. They’ll probably stay put for a day but I’m sure we’ll be getting another call tomorrow.


8 comments:

~drew emborsky~ said...

Such naughtiness!!

Leah said...

In the Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan says that when we look at grass, we just see all green, but to ruminants that is like saying cauliflower and ice cream taste the same because they are both white. They like the good stuff. They want the sweet stuff, so they're always on the move, sniffing it out once it is chomped from their present digs. Hope the high fences work. Have you read his book? I LOVE it. Makes me want to be a grass farmer. Foolish notion for such a city girl, but I LOVE his description of the grass farmer in Virginia. Sigh.

Anonymous said...

Kristin .. I LOVE your blog ... it makes me homesick for my beloved Scottish Highlands ... The sheep are wild there and so are all over the place and the roads. There are roadsigns that in most places in the world have a leaping deer on them; in the highlands it's a non-chalant sheep.
Usually, when a car comes whipping along, the sheep just move to the nearest grass; but, springtime you have to be very vigilant .. the lambs (they go to the hills at 3 weeks) rush to their mothers when the car comes ... if she is on the other side of the road ....!!!
Huge fines and reimbursement to the shepherd.. even huger if it's an ewe (adult or lamb)...

As for the collies (the real ones .. Border ones) I could go on forever ... but I won't ... I'm surprised more people don't have Borders to watch over their little ones.....
Thanks for your blog ... and your knit"gifts",
Elizabeth

Anonymous said...

as a French saying goes, l'herbe est toujours plus verte chez les autres !
In my corner of the Pyrenees they (not I) raise a lot of sheep too. After the end of May they take to the estives, the mountain pastures, until september. During the whole summer you have them all over the place when you go hiking, together with cows and horses, of course.
Catherine near Lourdes, France

Mrs. Parks said...

Love your blog!

I'll be back.

By the by, how do you recomend caring for ancient overgrown non-shorn love lorn ewes?

Tina said...

I look at your sheep and i feel like finishing my second sock! Thanks for the motivation!

Felicia said...

Everything always looks greener on the other side :)

Willow said...

Silly little things. They're like four year old humans!