There are people in this world who see sheep as wooly little creatures with no personality…I know, hard to believe – but it’s true.
As I was introducing some new sheep into the flock I was watching the different personalities emerge and thinking about the different personalities in our flock and the friendships they have.
I searched ‘sheep personalities’ on the Internet and it brought up the Chinese Horoscope – Year of the sheep. I found the following paragraph very interesting…
‘If you want to be close friends with a Sheep person, be prepared to expend a good deal of patience. Although Sheep love to be around a pack of people, these are simply his many acquaintances. Becoming an intimate friend is a tedious process. It takes a long time for Sheep to decide you can be trusted. As a matter of fact, it takes so long that the majority of people give up and never truly get to know the Sheep person. The end result is that the Sheep has many social contacts, but few real friends.’
This is exactly how sheep work.
Here are the new girls. They have been here for a while, but they have been in a quarantine pasture so I could watch them before I turned them out with our sheep.
The time came to introduce them to our sheep and they weren’t sure if they wanted to make new friends.
They slowly started checking each other out.
There was a lot of sniffing…
and smelling and saying ‘hello’.
Some of the girls were just too busy stuffing their faces to worry about making new friends.
Precious needs some etiquette lessons 🙂
The new girls started making their way through the flock and something caught their eye…
they were very interested in Magoo.
He likes his sheep, but he has serious rules on how close they can get to him and the new girls were getting a little too close for his comfort!
Their interest in him wore off and they continued making the rounds with the introductions.
They have been together for a little over a week and to the untrained eye, it looks like one flock, but they are still very separate. Sheep form strong bonds with each other, but it takes quite awhile for that to happen. Some of our sheep have formed such strong bonds that I find myself making breeding decisions around them. Breeding Cleora and Venus to the same ram is a whole lot easier than watching them fret about being separated and some ewes complain about being separated from their friends more than they do at weaning time!
These two girls are part of the new flock, but are only here for a short time and will be moving to Pennsylvania at the end of August. I look forward to getting to know them and their individual personality until then. Luckily, they seem to be pretty attached and will be making the big move together. It is always good to have a friend with you when you are making big changes.