Wow, how can October be over!? It was just this morning that I realized that almost the whole month had gotten away from me without a single blog post update. So much you've missed!
The primary event of course has been that the new sheep are here! We have out first flock of 10 soay sheep and they are everything we hoped for! The ride to Wisconsin and back was SUPER crazy but the sheep took it like champs. We discovered they road MUCH better in pairs, even if it was a little crowded and once we figured that out, they did amazing. Out every evening for a little grazing and water and back in easy as you please!
Once we got them back to Windsor and into the new fields, I thought I might never get near them again. I had been warned repeatedly how wild they were, and that they were unlikely to group in the same way that other sheep breeds do. However, so far they have proven to be curious, and friendly as a new cat can be friendly. They follow me all over the field and will eat of of a bucket I am holding, if not out of my hand.
Halter training is going less-well. The sheep are less food-driven than the goats and - rather than wearing themselves out by running around - the sheep are big believers in passive resistance. They may not be very big sheep, but they are heavy! Once they decide they aren't moving, they are really not moving.
Georgie Girl, the only sheep we got who came with her baby, did agree to attend an event with us at the Whitefield Library. She was much fussed over and a big hit with kids and adults alike! She and Clover (our SCI goat) did eye each other in confusion a bit throughout the day, and when GG went back in the crate for a break, Clover had to check up on her several times!
The goats' reactions to the sheep have been interesting. Saffron sniffed from a distance, but that was about it. Carson, on the other hand, apparently finds the smell of sheep wool very sexy! Even Clover, while with Georgie kept trying to nibble on her wool repeatedly. Georgie did not appreciate it!
All in all, they seem to be settling well. The new ram has also arrived and is delighted to have - at least for this year - no competition. A couple of morning frosts have us already supplementing with hay, but we have plenty (we hope) stocked up to get us through the spring. We still hope to get the well put in to make winter watering easier but snowfall is fast approaching and we may have a long few months of hauling water ahead of us. In either case, this weekend we will be trying to combine the goats and the sheep to see how they do together. Caring for them will be much easier through the winter if they can share housing, hay and water.
Wish us luck!