Friday, April 9, 2021

The Enforcer

For a "happy little farm", we had an incredible amount of sheep fighting this past winter.  Girls fighting girls (not that uncommon), girls fighting boys (also not that uncommon), young boys trying to fight with girls (older boys know better ;-) and the clashes of the titans (big fat boys fighting with big fat boys :-o).

Somewhere back in the archives that I can no longer locate I think I took a video of one of the fights and definitely some better "action pictures".  The pictures below look pretty tame, but if you notice Woody's ear in the first picture, you can see that it no longer stands upright.  
   



Woody, Baaxter and Burrnie all have busted and broken ears.  Woody's ear was so bad that he required three vet visits and a minor surgery.  Rocky incurred a shoulder injury from which he now, six weeks later,  finally seems to have recovered.

This fighting went on for weeks.  Many weeks.  I could do nothing to stop it and even toyed with separating everyone into four different paddocks - the oldies, the girls, the boys and the fat "jerks" (not the word I actually used ;-).

There was plenty of food, plenty of space, plenty of space between food.  No new sheep, no change in routine, nothing had changed from any of the previous years.  Or had it...  

During shearing at Final Frontier this spring I was sharing my tale of woe and Kathy said, "Well, some dynamic has changed."  What was it?

The sheep who loved to "mix it up" the most was Chocula.  He'd excitedly race over to fight with anyone!  And when he'd join the fight...everyone else would give up, look grumpy and just walk away.  


I don't think Chocula was joining the fights.  I think he was breaking them up.

12 comments:

Juliana said...

What a beautiful sheep!!! I have a cat who swirls and interrupts any cat kerfuffle in my house, so I totally agree that Chocula may be breaking up the kerfuffle in the sheep family.
I so enjoy your blog. Thank you for all the stories and photos.

Michelle said...

It is so upsetting when sheep start bashing each other! I've put skinny, mostly blind Bittersweet in one side of the Ram-ada Inn overnight so he can have some peace from sometimes-rambunctious ram Spot, and worry that the girls could cause a miscarriage when they side-punch. Do LGDs ever break up fights?

I need orange said...

Good boy, Chocula.

I was wondering if Hank had any restraining influence against fighting, until I came to the last pic and statement.

Cheryl West said...

I had no idea that sheep were so rowdy. I hope someone steps up to be the next referee. Maybe Maisie?

Far Side of Fifty said...

Yes they all need a Warden! We used to have a cat that would jump right on the dogs if they were having a spat!

Sheepmom said...

Chocula.... even more important to the flock than we knew. He was a gem.

Shirley said...

Awww Chocula… one of the handsomest sheep.
Poor Woody! Are the girls as destructive in their fights as the boys?

Terry and Linda said...

Yes, I was. Yes, that is just what I'm doing, Chocula!

Terry and Linda said...

He sure was a stunningly beautiful sheep. Miss you Chocula

Delrene from Ca said...

I’m wondering if it’s just the past unsettling years. Perhaps they just feel it and get the crazy Covid vibe of their human caretakers. Maybe nerves are frayed. Count Chocula was the heavy peacemaker.
I hope things settle down. I come to your blog and find so much peace and harmony and the beauty of your farm and animals. How wonderful that you have this lovely existence. I am coming to visit Ky, old friends, our Mims and I see you are located in Paris, Ky. Smack in there with all the horses. Do you ever have visitors starved for a peek at country living.
Just asking. I hope tempers improve amongst the sheep. They seem so so sweet.

thecrazysheeplady said...

The ewes fight more than the boys and seem that they hold grudges, too, but don't tend to hurt each other ;-).

our farm is actually in Cynthiana, but I pass Our Mims every day on the way to Final Frontier Farm! Kathy enjoys visitors. You just need to make an appointment first. If you send me an email, I can put you in touch with her :-).

Vandermolen said...

a bunch of retirees can be a challange.

LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin