I'm pretty impressed with the progress I've made with the animals in the last three weeks.
I find the goats WAY more eager to come to me now that they know I have grain, but I also find them way more annoying than the sheep. The annoyance comes from them standing on the fence and baaaaing at me EVERY SINGLE time I walk by, interfering with everything I do, trying to eat everything, and generally acting like herbivoric dogs. Now, dear reader, don't get me wrong, I do love them. I just find my patience with them is something that I need to develop (read: they have already made me want to tear my hair out.)
The sheep have their own issues. They are frighten so much more easily than the goats, well, at least more so than my mature goat. My doe kid runs away from everything all the time - but I can't blame her, she is little and easy to catch and would probably taste really good! The sheep are much more like horses; they are wary and unsure of newcomers and not willing to be easily caught. I find myself, to be a better shepherdess rounding my shoulders, looking at the ground, thinking about the task at hand and not about them. I am proud to say that they now follow me to their feeding area. Unfortunately, I have to tie everyone up except Jazz and squirt the water bottle at Sam's horns to keep him from pushing Anna out of the way - horning her rather. It's thrilling! She has let me pet her rough wool coat and touch her woolen ears. It's a bit like loving on your favorite wool blanket. I often spend that time that she is chowing on grain to pick bits of leaves or what nots from her spotted coat.
Jazz has turned out to be very much worth every penny. She submits to the livestock and walks with her head down and her eyes averted. She definately knows exactly what she is doing and I am extremely thankful she is doing such a great job.
Surge on the other hand is another story entirely... *eye roll* He pushes the llivestock out of the way, sleeps where he wants, and bullies them every chance he gets. It absolutely infurates me. But I have to remember he IS a teenager flexing his newly found muscles. I just hope he is watching Jazz and learning what she is doing rather than just thinking testosterone induced thoughts! humf! I can not wait to get him away from the goats and in with sheep and cows ONLY. See how he enjoys being bullied for once!
Ah yes, the cow. It is definate. We are getting calves - probably two of them. I am hoping for a bull and a hiefer from the auction (boy, research here I come) this time around. Wolf and I have been doing some research and we've read that calves tend to do better in pairs - they grow faster, eat quicker, and learn. After getting Jazz, I'm a BIG fan of pairs. I do, in a way, hate to seperate them, but Surge actually hurt Jazz the other day...so I'm kind of not sure what to do with him. Of course I will still let them play together at dusk, but each will have his or her own field to guard.
Sometimes, occassionally after wrestling something to the ground I wonder if I'm in over my head. Well, if I am, it sure feels good!