Tuesday, January 21, 2014

About The Bells

"Who has bells and could you show me what a good bell and collar look like? Who would you like to see have a bell? :)" 



I originally purchased three bells from Premier1.  Mine are the Swiss Bells.  I didn't feel comfortable using their nylon collars in case they got it caught on something, so picked out simple leather (breakable) dog collars from Tractor Supply.  

I knew right off who two of the "lucky" bell wearing sheep would be, for two completely different reasons.  The third bell?  Well, I thought maybe Annabelly would like to be special...but NO!  Rebecca Boone was my next choice, and while she was okay with it, three bells was a bit much.  Two is pretty.  Three is noise.


"I have to wear this stupid bell because they said since I aggravate them all the time, it was my turn to get aggravated.  Whatever.  Now they use it to track my every move.  They say they are amazed at how much I eat, where I eat, how late at night I go out and eat...  

"The collar is the worst.  They use it to drag me all over the place.  "Stand over here, Graham.  Get out of the feed room, Graham.  Stop trying to knock the ladder over, Graham...""

"Whatever."


"I get to wear this pretty bell because I'm special.  I like bling.  One time I got to wear flowers in my hair to get my picture taken.  It was awesome.  You can't really see my bell because I have so much pretty wool.  My wool is almost the same color as my bell and I think it would be cool if someone used my wool to make a cardigan sweater and put brass buttons on it."

Interestingly, as soon as I put the bell on Petunia, something changed with her.  Before that she'd always just been part of the flock.  She was one of those sheep that never caused any trouble or did anything to stand apart from the rest and if you didn't think to initiate contact with her, you might never know how neat she was.  

As Elizabeth has aged, I've wondered who would take her place as the flock matriarch.  Petunia never crossed my mind.  The bell changed that.  With a calm grace that is Petunia, she assumed the duty.  Assumed is probably the best word.  There was no question, no power struggle.  She just stepped up to the plate and is now the leader of the flock.


20 comments:

Miha Giustina said...

I always wondered if the sound of the bell was actually bad for the sheep...that constant noise would drive me crazy if I were a sheep. And some days I wish I was a sheep, especially a Maisie-lookalike propeller-tail sheep!:-).

I need orange said...

I was positive that Graham needed a bell, but wasn't sure who else. :-)

I love it when you share their individual personalities with us.

Petunia sounds like a totally perfect herd leader. What a good girl.

Tombstone Livestock said...

Hmmm, your fleeces look like mine, full of straw and hay. I am still picking it out of last springs fleeces and it will be time to shear again in 2 more months.

Auntie Reg said...

I have heard Graham say "Don't you think this bell makes me look FAT"!

karen said...

I didn't know sheep wore bells nor that they receive special powers of leadership!! Love the name petunia she sounds like a true leader.

Shirley said...

Oh Graham! The bell is perfect on you! Is your first name Alexander?

Far Side of Fifty said...

Thanks for the explanation! I loved the sound of the bells in your video and was just curious:)

YarnKettle said...

You put a dog collar on Graham? No wonder he is always trying to steal Hank's food, oh wait he did that before the collar. I guess that means it is poetic justice?

If I ever manage to come see your farm, you should definitely check my car before I leave. I don't think I would be able to resist trying to smuggle Petunia home with me.

And if I did manage to smuggle her home could you wait a couple of weeks before you made me give her back, just think of it as Petunia's summer camp?

Stephen Andrew said...

Perhaps this is where the expression "I'll be there with bells on!" Comes from. As always, very sweet photos.

Alice said...

Now we know from whom the bells toll :-)

www.bergamascosbabydollbrigade.com said...

I love the bells. I have the same Swiss bells on all of my rams and use dog collars. I don't think it bothers them at all. BUT, they definitely know they have them on. I can tell by the way they and the other rams act if I remove one of them to wash the collar.

For me, the bells have several functions...
a. I love the sound of them.
b. They're pretty.
c. When I have to go into the ram pasture, I can hear them coming and know to watch for them.
d. I've read studies that having bells on sheep flocks helps to deter predators.

For me, the more sheep bells, the better!

Michelle said...

I think the tinkle of the bell would be a sweet sound, although maybe not if you had to listen to it all of the time.

MarmePurl said...

A Petunia cardigan with brass buttons. I will nod off to sleep envisioning that loveliness.

Lady Locust said...

We just put bells on the black sheep as the coyotes would go for them first in the night. If we heard ringing at night-time, we knew something was up. We had dogs, but not "Hanks":) so it really did help.
Smiles

Carolina Trekker said...

Please make us a Video of Graham wearing his new Swiss Bell. He is a Commediene..this was fun. HUGs

thecrazysheeplady said...

There's already a video of Graham and his bell :-D.

http://myfavoritesheep.blogspot.com/2013/06/graham-lamba-dinga-linga-linga-linga.html

Kim said...

I've been wanting to put a few bells on our sheep. I love the sound of them. Keeping predators away would be a plus too. Should we pick the leaders to wear them? What if they are older?

Kylie said...

I must say--- I got into a car accident this morning because of horrible snow/horrible plowing. I must say, these adorable lamby pictures sure have a way of cheering me up!

LannieK said...

Love the bells. Petunia is such a sweetie. Hugs to Graham, etal. Hope you are staying warm! :-)

Susan Mckee-Nugent said...

Those bells are wonderful.. I am going to get one for my 'wild' dog when we go in the woods.
It is interesting how an added feature will change behaviour. Like, LOOK at ME :)

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