Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Pam's Sheep Experience

Hello from Pam, and Kirsten! 

Today we'd like to tell you a story about sheep! More specifically Mom's sheep. It's her story, so I'll let her tell it. 

I had an experience a few weeks ago. It was in the late afternoon, and I went up to feed the sheep their evening meal. I gave them some cucumbers and zucchini and then I filled their feeder full of hay. I was getting ready to go through the pen, I had opened the wooden gate and then reached down to pet one of my sheep. It looked like Gracie the llama had spit on her back, so I scratched her head and said "Poor sheep!" It was Rosa - she is the feisty one, always butting heads with the other sheep. She stepped back and tried to butt me, but I was able to side step her. Then she did it again, and this time hit me hard in the thigh. Thank goodness it was the thigh and not lower, because I think she would have broken my knee. My leg was all bruised for a good long time, and it hurt when my pants would touch the bruise for the next few days. After she butted me, I got behind the gate and thought "Great, how do I get out of the pen?" I thought about taking the back door out of the barn but then I thought, Rosie is going to think she's in charge! So, I put on my brave face, walked between her and two other sheep, sticking close to my other sheep until I made it out of the pen. I don't know if she had been naughty all day, and that's why Gracie spit on her. Of course this would happen on a night when my DH wasn't home. If she had broken my leg and knocked me down, I'm not sure what would have happened. I don't know if the other sheep and Gracie would have protected me, or if they would have all started butting me - complaining that I'm not giving them enough grain.

Mom and Dad live a few miles out of town, and aren't terribly close to their neighbors. If the sheep had knocked her down, and she wasn't able to get out of the pen and back to the house to call for help, she could have been in the pen all night. As she mentioned, Dad wasn't home, and wouldn't be back for a day or two. They would have missed her the next morning at work, but that wouldn't be for another 12-14 hours. My parents may not be old and feeble yet, but stories like this still make me nervous that they live alone and with decently large farm animals. 

We don't mean to tell this story to scare you, but as a cautionary tale. Sheep are strong creatures, not to be taken lightly! So if you know someone who owns sheep, think of them tonight and remember that even hobbies can be dangerous!

As a footnote, the sheep in question - Rosa, is part Merino and Corriedale. All my other girls are mixes of Romney and Corriedale. 

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