Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Animal behavior

Is this hen broody, or bonkers? She acts broody, except that she never sits on eggs. She's not laying, of course, but a few of the other girls are. If she's truly broody, wouldn't she choose a nest box in which other hens have made deposits?

Blake, outstanding in his "field" on a foggy morning. He's lost interest in his girls; hopefully they are both bred. I will leave the breeding group together until the end of November just in case, then do another sheep shuffle. I will not put this guy in with Blake, though:
That's Barbados, taken later the same day I took the foggy photo of Blake. They spend much of their standing at their respective fence lines staring at each other, the flock sire and the young wannabe. No, they can live with separate groups of fiber wethers, and the girls will be put back together. (Inserting a plug here: fine-fleeced Barbados is for sale as a flock sire, and I could put together a nice pair or trio of wethers for someone interested in their own fine-fleeced fiber flock.)

Annabelle is getting special treatment. Recently I caught Benny hassling his old dam, mounting her and pushing her around. Hmm; that may have been what got her cast the other day. So when the ladies and lambs are in the fold, Annabelle gets the corner lambing pen with her own hay and water, plus a handful of Lamb Chow laced with MSM and kelp meal once a day. Everyone else is jealous, of course; it can be a job wading through the woollies to give Annabelle her goodies. That's why I don't feed treats or grain as a general rule; it makes most sheep too pushy!

Jackson, jealous of my computer time
Last night our dogs started acting strangely. Dozer, sitting in the recliner with Rick, starting shivering,  then jumped down and hid behind my chair. Jackson started panting nervously and tried to become one with my legs everywhere I went. They had been outside shortly before so Rick and I wondered aloud if something had scared them, but when we mentioned "outside," they rushed to the door. Nope; obviously no boogy men out there!

Their nervousness went on until bedtime, to our consternation. All I could think of was, "Do they sense seismic activity?" Blame my recent focus on preparedness, but animals DO sense these things when humans cannot. Thankfully everything stayed quiet – until an impressive rumbling of thunder awoke me this morning. I'll take that. ;-)

That's it for today from . . .


Maggie said...

I loved reading all your animal news about Blake, Barbados and sweet Annabelle....they are so well looked after. What lucky animals. On a Saturday, there are often shoots over the valley and Spencer gets all jumpy and pants a lot. It really stresses him out. Thunder has the same effect and of course we have loads of fireworks going off as we're near to Guy Fawkes night on 5th November.

Nancy Kay said...

You've got all kinds of agitated action on the ranch! Love the pictures of the animals; beautiful little guys!

Susan said...

My Bernie was a very reliable barometer. If there was anything coming up in the weather - obvious or not - she would pace and pant. Such beautiful sheep you have, Michelle. It's probably a good thing we don't live closer...