Tuesday, June 26, 2012

More Leader Sheep Stories

Lara continues to amaze me, she keeps sniffing out trouble and letting us know what rookie shepherds we are.  She has earned a place here on my homestead, I'm not sure the sheep would have survived this year without her.

This morning before the Commander left for work he let the rams out into the middle pasture and released the girls with the lambs into the back woods.  An hour or so later Lara started calling me from the barn, I have learned that when she is calling I need to see what she wants.

I went out and found her inside the girls barn with her two lambs.  As I approached she walked to the back door and looked out at the back pasture, she was almost pointing.  I looked out and discovered that the kids had left the gate between the middle and back pastures open and the rams had wander through.  There is only a snow fence dividing the back pasture from the woods and the rams wanted to join the girls, bad!  The snow fence was almost down and I needed to do something immediately.  Fortunately a grain pan works miracles with sheep so I was able to lure the rams back to the middle pasture.  On my way there I found that the kids had also left the gate to the yard open, thank goodness they didn't wander out that way!

Last week between the massive rain storms here in Northern Minnesota the Commander decided to walk the fence line to see if any trees or branches had fallen to breach the fence line.  He told me that as soon as he headed out to the woods Lara joined him and began baa'ing and baa'ing.  She continued to follow him and baa until he came across a tree that had fallen and taken down the fence.  Once the Commander had cleared the fence and set it back into place Lara called to her lambs and wandered off to eat in silence.  The Commander finished walking the fence line and didn't find anything else amiss - did she know what he was doing?

Finally, again last week I went outside to find Lara in the barn with a few of the lambs and she was calling me.  Once I got out there she turned her back to me and began to call to the rest of the sheep in the woods.  I wondered if something was wrong so I called the sheep back to the barn (the sheep are trained to come back to the barn if anyone calls out "Girl Sheep"!).  After a few minutes everyone emerged from the forest and joined Lara in the barn.  All the ewes and lambs were accounted for, I wondered what Lara was thinking.

While all this was going on the weather had turned from overcast to a dark overcast and it soon began to pour rain.  Seems another band of thunderstorms was beginning to roll through and Lara wanted all the sheep safe in the barn with her.  Amazing.  I didn't make it back to the house without getting drenched and it was certainly not a storm to have lambs wandering around the forest.

Odds and Ends:  I ate the first strawberry of the year harvested from the garden on Sunday - it was delicious!

I sold the guineas I hatched in the incubator - success!

One of the eagle looking chicks that I hatched out this Spring came up missing Saturday night, either he became someones snack or he wandered off and got lost - weird.

Tonight the goat herd was out grazing in the side unfenced forest when the guineas sounded the alarm.  I have no idea what they were screaming at but I was intrigued to note that the goats perked up and sprinted back to their barn.  Are they taking cues from the guineas?


  1. All our farm animals listen to one another. The guineas are always the first to alert the chickens or the outside cats that something to going on.

  2. Lynn - The guineas here do the same thing but Lara has been something special. I don't know how she does it but I'm going to keep her around.