Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Meet Ash, an East Fresian sheep. She is a 8 month old dairy sheep.

The cats arn't to sure of what to make of this newcomer
 I agreed to buy her hoping to cross her with my Jacob sheep for a lower maintenance dairy sheep. Her mom made about half a gallon a milking, which would make almost a gallon a day! The day before I received her tragedy struck: her small flock was attacked by coyotes and only Ash and a goat survived. Then the goat turned on Ash and started beating up on her! When she came to my place she was really scared and sad. I wasn't quite ready for her so her first few days she was on a leash.

Now she has a pen around a plum tree where she can see everyone. We haven't gotten one of our other sheep from our old farm yet (they are basically wild sheep this summer), so she is still a bit lonely. But this has given me a chance to get her to bond with me and learn to trust us.

 I decided to try giving her a mirror to see if that would help her feel less lonely. Well, she doesn't have much experience with mirrors, right? so I put a mirror up for her and she saw a sheep! yaaay! then she looked around the mirror, and no sheep. sad. Look in the mirror, magic sheep is back!  she carefully headbutted it a few times not totally convinced of it....Ash spent a few minutes trying to figure out and talk to the magic 2 dimensional sheep, then decided it was ok....ish. She is certainly calmer seeing another sheep face, but its not the same as a real sheep. Still when she goes into her pen in the morning she runs over to look at magic sheep (or maybe shes figured it out and she is just checking herself out.)

Ash is a real sweetheart and seems pretty sharp. Whoever said sheep and stupid didn't get to actually know them, yes, they flock together, but they really do think. She is already learning some basic commands with clicker training.

 Since she is polled (no horns) i didn't feel comfortable taking her to the old farm in Oregon City and leaving her in a new herd of horned sheep. Sounds like a great way for her to get hazed to death. So the plan is to pick someone from the flock of Jacobs up and introduce her to one member of the herd, then when we get the fences up the rest of the herd can come up and since one of the jacobs "knows" her, she will have an easier time joining the the rest of the sheep.

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