Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The difference between sheep and goats

I’ve been finding this weather and the winter that’s fallen before me requires me to look at each animal with a whole new set of eyes. Theses eyes see wellness and sturdiness. They’re always looking for weakness, coughing, separating from the flock or herd and overall involvement. I’m constantly watching the goats and sheep almost to the point where I think it makes the sheep a little uncomfortable, they’re wondering if I’m eyeing them for the butcher block.

Speaking of sheep, they are really amazing, I just love the St Croix and Katahden’s I have. They are very sweet animals and are extremely hearty in hot and cold weather in spite of the fact they don’t necessarily have wool, something a little different, hair in which they shed in the summer. They all seem to be getting along just fine in this cold weather. They have not given me any indication I need to worry about them. Especially the woolies who are in Jail again until I can get to the fence fixing around here.

The goats on the other hand are more like domesticated dogs, sweet, loyal and ready to make trouble. Now, I have to say they can’t be trained like dogs and they might balk at the analogy but they require a lot more attention. They require a lot more thought on their shelter and the way things are done on the farm. If goats are in the formula the farm must be goat proofed.
I worked in the barn most of yesterday. I needed to make sure there was enough wind breaks for the next few days of chilling temps with wind, I even built a long overdue hay feeder which I’m quite proud of (hope it lasts through the day). The sheep wandered off and really didn’t want anything to do with me for the most part, but the goats stayed right with me watching and investigating and giving me sweet nuzzles and lots of affection. I like having these projects close to the animals. Sometimes in my day to day I don’t give them much mind other than to milk, hay and water. But this I love these creatures and it’s such a treat to be in their company.
I’m ready for whatever the weather goddess brings tonight. Hopefully no loss of power.

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