Herding Party


The great fencing project is complete! And I was quite nervous about the herding. We had to move the sheep out of one pasture, across our driveway, and a couple dozen yards down the road to the gate into the new pasture. It’s not terribly far, but sheep have a mind of their own. They can generally be led by rattling a can of feed, but this isn’t an absolute. They’re also likely to be sidetracked and obsessed by the first blade of grass they see. Or sidetracked and obsessed by a blade of grass a hundred yards away.

We could have lassoed them one by one and led them with ropes, but that seemed like a pretty big task, plus we had a bad experience with that the last time we tried it when we moved them from the goat yard down to the meadow bottom. Putting a rope on them has the instant effect of making them want to sit down and call a strike. Sheep aren’t all that cooperative.

Eventually we decided we’d get some help and herd them over there en masse. I tried to call Frank because he enjoys chasing assorted large animals, but he disappeared in my hour of need. We had 52’s sister and her husband, though, and we embarked upon certain disaster.

Or so it felt like to me based on everything I’d learned about sheep in the past year and a half.

Not only would we have one sheep loose, we’d have the whole herd.

They’d take off for the hinterlands, thirsting for freedom, wild times, and no curfews.

Don’t fence them in! They’re ready to rumble!


I don’t think I know these sheep.

I’ve never seen such well-behaved sheep in my life.

I think they do stuff like that just to mess with my head.

If Frank had been here, he would have been real disappointed.

Wily devils.

It took them a while to even realize there was more to the pasture than the area by the gate. I was afraid we’d come down later and find them all passed out from gorging. But it didn’t happen.

Meanwhile, my cousin, Mark, showed up with a truckload of bran and leftover whole corn for the animals from grinding at the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair recently. (He sells his cornmeal there and also at our local Black Walnut Festival.)

His wife, Sheryl, and my dear Georgia came, too.

And since the sheep were in high cotton, we had a little feast of our own.

Grilled brats, Homemade Buns, Deviled Eggs, Crock Pot Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Cornbread Salad, and Strawberry Cheese Cake.

And none of the people ran away or passed out, either.

That I know about.

The End

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on July 9, 2010  

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15 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 7-9

    What wonderful, delicious-looking payment for herding sheep! Looks like everyone, 2- and 4-legged, had happy tummies!

    :sheepjump: :sheep: :sheepjump:

  2. 7-9

    :sheep: Ohhhhhh…..I like your herding parties! Animals always seem to do just the opposite of what you think they are going to do, don’t they?
    The party food looks delicious!

    Mrs. Turkey

  3. 7-9

    Such a well-behaved day. Must be the weather.

  4. 7-9

    Love the herding story~ whew!

    Ooooooo, I especially love seeing Miracle Whip on the table. It has always been a must in my life. How in the world can folks make cabbage slaw without it……or deviled eggs…….or the best tuna sammish ever???

  5. 7-9

    :hungry: Well, the grass WAS greener on the other side!
    Any excuse is fine to serve up food like that in my book!

  6. 7-9

    glad everything went well…
    what a beautiful picture of Georgia!!! think that is my favorite one yet….
    food looks wonderful… mmmm grilled brats…. thats something i havent made in a while…. might be dinner tonight!

  7. 7-9

    Wow, looks like your animals get to feast too! Yummy on the human goods!

  8. 7-9

    All that worry about getting them to the new pasture, and they just walked down the road a turned into the gate. Isn’t it interesting that you can never predict with accuracy what they will do.

  9. 7-9

    I am so glad the move was stress free!! If I had known what a feast was to be served, I might have come up from HOT South Carolina to join in!! Love you Suzanne!!

  10. 7-9

    Where are your baby Jacobs? I think I saw one of them in the pictures. Didn’t you have 4 new babies? :sheep:

  11. 7-9

    Enjoyed your article about moving the sheep. We have moved our sheep from pasture to pasture but never down the road A well trained herding dog helps We did have one for awhile and used him for moving the sheep. We now use gates and lanes to move our sheep from pasture to pasture. I like the fencing and the red gate. This kind pf gate is much easier to open and close than wooden gates.

  12. 7-9

    I just printed out your recipe for, Crock Pot Baked Beans; I can’t wait to make them.

  13. 7-10

    Yay! Thanks for a sheepie post!

    Growing some nice wool for you – have you had a chance to do any spinning yet?

  14. 7-11

    Oh, such fun!! Can I come and live with you! I need my own farm as I can only pretend to be you for so long!!!! This land that surrounds me isn’t really mine as I see and hear the golfers!! Darn!!

  15. 7-15

    OMG…it was not fair to put the photos of that food at the end of the post. It is lunchtime. I’m starving!

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