Goats and Sheep Arrive!

January 2007

After a long wait, we have finally found the perfect animal additions to our farm.  We now have one Boer goat named Wilhelm and two Cotswold sheep named Nigel and Simon.  After a week we added a Nigerian dwarf female goat named Anabel.  They are living the life of luxury in our new barn .

Here is Anabel, the last addition to the herd.  She is the oldes (about 2) but also the smallest.  She is most likely pregnant and will kid in March.

Wilhelm is very inquisitive, and probably more clever than he lets on.  He will come right up to us and head-butt or just give a kiss.

Nigel looks like a first-time knitting project gone very, very bad.  But he is very sweet and a little bolder than Simon.

       

Simon is a little more reticent and composed.  Both of the sheep are castrated males (wethers).  In case you are interested, researchers have recently reported that 8% of sheep are gay.

 

I built them a manger and filled it with fresh hay.  Wilhelm is very pushy at eating time, the sheep put up with him but don't seem to like it.  The second night they were here I sat down in the stall with them and watched the AFC championship on television.  The animals caught on quickly and were a lot of fun.  Wilhelm checked all of my pockets for treats, and the sheep would rest their little heads on my legs.  They are unbelievably soft and cushy.  They were a little put off when I would yell out over an interception or some such thing.

Outside their stall is a small fenced pasture for them to roam and eat grass.  The property is full of invasive shrubs and trees like buckthorn, honeysuckle, and multiflora rose.  I am hopeful that they will develop a real taste for this stuff and really go to work next summer.  So far they have already sampled the trees inside the pasture and seem satisfied.

We had our first attempt at shepherding on Feb 1.  The gang followed us all around the property and never strayed or got into trouble.  The sheep had a little trouble finding the gate back into the paddock.  It's true, sheep are not so smart.

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