Moving Sheep


With the fencing completed in the first section of pasture in our meadow bottom and the sheep shelter built, it was time to move the sheep down the hill. The sheep were gonna love the fresh spring grass! Clover would be thrilled to have her goat yard back!

“See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya,” said Clover to the sheep.
Miss Jacob looks ready to dot, doesn’t she? I love how sheep dot a meadow, never standing too close to one another as if by some unspoken agreement to decorate the landscape.

Dot, dot, dot! In my own meadow!

But for all this dotting to happen, we had to get them down the hill, and we weren’t going to have any of that nonsense we had on shearing day where we chased them around and around the goat yard. We are some freakin’ professional farmers here. So the first thing we did was get them all in the goat house.
The first thing they did as soon as they realized something was up was knock us down on their way back out of the goat house.

And we chased them around and around the yard just like on shearing day.

We finally got one under control and on a makeshift leash.
Some friends had the misfortune to stop by right around then and helped us as we spent the next couple of hours pushing….
….even begging. This one kept sitting down and wouldn’t even stand up for food.
Every time we went back for another one in the goat yard, we had to fight off Clover, Nutmeg, and Annabelle, all of whom would have cheerfully followed us out the driveway, up the road and down it again, and climbed on our backs and jumped in our pockets.

Annabelle’s not a dog anymore, by the way.

Now she’s a goat, living with Clover and Nutmeg.

She’s not happy about it. I think she misses the Cotswolds, who were just warming up to her recently. I haven’t convinced myself to send Annabelle down to the meadow with them yet.
I think she’s actually still a dog at heart and all this sheep and goat stuff is giving her an identity crisis. I hope I can afford all the therapy she’s going to need when she grows up.

Meanwhile back in the meadow, we finally got the last sheep in the pasture and shut the gate. Let the dotting begin!
I said, let the dotting begin!
That’s not dotting! That’s clumping! STOP CLUMPING!
Three days later: They’re still clumping. They’re non-dotters. Ohmygod, that’s why they were free. I HAVE CLUMPING SHEEP!!!!

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on April 30, 2009  

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43 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 4-30

    Maybe there is an optimal number of sheep that causes declumping and automatic dotting?? Say 4 is clumping but 5 means they dot!! You could experiment using Annabelle and if 5 doesn’t work you’ll just have to get more sheep… :sheep:

  2. 4-30

    Move Annabelle and Coco into the pasture with them and see if they dot. Maybe there is safety in numbers and a Livestock Guardian Dog?

  3. 4-30

    Cows kind of dot, too, don’t they? I never knew there was a technical, official farmer term for that.

    And just so you know, Annabelle is still a dog in my heart, too.

  4. 4-30

    Too funny! Love your stories. Thanks for the laughs in the morning :)

  5. 4-30

    Only you, my dear Suzanne would have clumping and not dotting sheep!!! Think how boring life would be if they only dotted!!

  6. 4-30

    I really needed this laugh today. Thank you!

    I think Annabelle will always be a dog to me.

  7. 4-30

    Too funny. Clumping sheep. They do want to dot. Could be they are scared and in a few more days they will dot. They are not sure what to do with all that pasture. lol.

    Baked your yellow cake yesterday. Put homemade strawberry freazer jam on a piece of it. And OMG yummy. I may never buy another boxed cake mix again. But I might have to use splenda instead of sugar. lol.

    Keep bringing on the recipes!!!

  8. 4-30

    You paint pictures with words. Funny pictures! Enjoy reading you.

  9. 4-30

    What an awesome post. I was wondering, as some other commenters did, if they need their livestock guarding dog to make them feel safe. Or you could always get a llama. They do a great job. And who wouldn’t want a llama?:)

  10. 4-30

    :woof: looks like you need a herding dog. a good dog would have taken all 4 sheep righht to the gate and inside. I recommend a blue heeler. We had one once, and he took care of 27 goats all by himself. good job on the fence by the way!

  11. 4-30

    Too, too funny! They may be getting used to their new home….just like when they came to the farm! Pretty soon, you’ll look down into the meadow and all you will see is dot, dot, dot, dot. And you definitely have more room in there for more sheep or llamas or miniature donkeys! :woof:

  12. 4-30

    You will have Morse code sheep eventually. Thay already have the dash, dash, dash part down pretty soon they will do the dot, dot , dot!
    Too funny though, clumping sheep. Poor Annabelle. I have hopes that she will figure out what she wants to be when she grows up!

  13. 4-30

    That made me laugh out loud!!
    I would have loved to have been there to help move them. I’ll bet there was all kinds of laughing. Well, there would have if it had taken place around here. We always have farm adventures. We have dubbed them Fencepost Adventures. Part of the fun of having a farm is all the adventures that take place.
    It makes for good stories and great memories.

  14. 4-30

    ROTFL! We’ll be bringing sheep home in June. I’ll have to remember to bring the camera. :lol:

  15. 4-30

    My llama, Bugle Boy, guards my alpacas. When Bugle senses danger, he stands at alert and will even make warning sounds. He will investigate any thing odd and the alpacas stand behind Bugle.
    Added bonus for llama/alpaca: you can shear it and spin yarn. :ladybug:

  16. 4-30

    What a job moving those sheep turned out to be!You might like to have an Austrialin Sheperd. They are so smart and can be ferocious! My brother has had them and has a puppy now for my niece. They are beautiful and loving to their master. :woof:

  17. 4-30

    Where was Coco? Couldn’t she help? I hope they dot for you soon. Loved the story.

  18. 4-30

    Too funny! Kinda like herding three goats into the back of a Hummer. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    Thanks for a great laugh this morning.

  19. 4-30

    I am laughing my butt off! (I wish) lol….I have a sore throat and fever yet somehow you made me laugh and feel better. Thanks Suzanne!!!!!! I love reading your stories.

  20. 4-30

    Suzanne, that last picture is too funny! They look like they’re muttering among themselves:
    “What is she yelling about?”
    “I don’t know, man. She’s weird.”
    “Dotting? Clumping? Wha…?”
    Seriously, dude, why is she yelling??”
    “I just wish she’d bring us our cookies. This is stressing me OUT.”

  21. 4-30

    I always love your posts! They make me smile.
    We had an Irish Setter once who would “put on the brakes” the same way whenever we got her out of the car at the Vet’s office.
    Too funny!

    The Retirement Chronicles

  22. 4-30

    I would like to vote for Annabelle to remain on the porch. Is this matter up for vote?! I think it will decrease her need for future therapy, poor baby.

  23. 4-30

    This morning’s post is hilarious to us, but I’ll bet you didn’t find it so amusing when you lived it! I’m also cackling at your commenters – lifting a tail as a “go” button?!! Giggle! I’ve seen lots of goat harnesses on other farm blogs, but if you wanted them for your sheep, you’d have to be creative and make some out of the pants you don’t wear on the porch or something!! And yeah, I can hear the sheep muttering in that last picture. :sheepjump:

  24. 4-30

    Ummmm, Suzanne, where’s the 5th new sheep? Do you keep the ram separately from the ladies?

  25. 4-30

    Just goes to show ya that anywhere there’s a group SOMEONE will form a clique! Hahaha! :shocked:

    Blessings from Ohio…

  26. 4-30

    1..2.. 3..4..5… no.. 4?! I thought you had 5 in the flock? 2 jacob ladies, 1 cotswold ram, and his two ladies…

    Or am I confused?

  27. 4-30

    .Beware of anything “free”…LOL…they are the cutest clumpers I have seen

  28. 4-30

    Yes, we do have a fifth sheep–the Cotswold ram! He has been separately penned adjacent to the goat yard for some time and he will be moved to the meadow bottom when we have a second section fenced. Hopefully soon!

  29. 4-30

    You TOTALLY crack me up!

  30. 4-30

    They still look quite cute even clumping. I bet after they get used to their new home you’ll wake one morning and find them dotting the countryside.

    I still think of Annabelle as a dog too. I don’t think I could put her down there with the rest of them. I think she needs to stay with Clover and Coco.

  31. 4-30

    Just hysterical!!!! Will Coco be going back and forth?? And Annabelle surely will get to visit, right? lol

  32. 4-30

    Mine clump too. This is why I’m thinking of getting rid of the sheep and concentrating on goats. Sheep are so darn hard and goats are so easy. You need to bucket train your sheep, you train them to come when you shake a bucket of grain. Then you could have just led them all down the road to the pasture by shaking the bucket. At least mine are bucket trained.

  33. 4-30

    Your sheep are too funny!!! I love your blog!

  34. 4-30

    They are clumping because they thought the cookies were in the new pasture and all they have is bright green grass. They are still waiting there!

    Just about any animal can be enticed into moving with a bucket of food. Maybe Miss Jacob is an elderly lady and needed a break. Do you know how old they are?

  35. 4-30

    They look like they’re conspiring against you…

    Thanks for the laughs!

  36. 4-30

    Too funny, Suzanne!

  37. 4-30

    Looks like Coco is going to have to learn how to herd the sheep. :sheepjump:

  38. 4-30

    I think next time you move the sheep, you should try this!! :bugeyed:


  39. 5-1

    Waaaiiiit, do i see more than 2 horns per goat? I could swear that was another horn, or is it an ear? :chicken:

  40. 5-1

    Thank You!! I was in bad need of an Annabelle fix! I kept checking, checking…but no Annabelle and then! Finally! Anabelle!!! Thank You!

  41. 5-2

    Jacob sheep can have two to six horns. Mine have four horns each!

  42. 5-3

    I laughed out loud. What a glorious sense of humor you have.

  43. 5-5

    I love all the sheep pics. I’m getting my first ewe on thursday. She’s a romney cross. I’ve had goats for awhile, but this sheep thing will be new to me. With only one it will be hard to tell if she’s a dotter. :happyfeet:

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