Every morning I go out to feed the sheep and let them out of the barn. I do this between 7:00 and 7:30 am. From the barn they can hear me coming and always make a racket, especially if I am late. On the morning of January 23, 2011, something was clearly wrong, there were no loud shouts of “HURRY UP AND FEED US!”. I was a little nervous to open the door, puzzled that they all might still be sleeping.
barn photo taken later in the day
I opened the door and turned on the light. There at the back of the barn was Dark Brown Barbado and her triplets, Mrs White Katahdin and her twins, over to my right was Favorite and her twins, tucked behind her was Mrs Brown Katahdin and a new lamb (more on that in my next blog post) but everyone else was missing. It was pretty easy to see where they had gone.
Our barn has 4 doors, one big sliding one at the front, with a small door in it, which we use rather than opening the sliding door. At the back is the door we use to access their pasture, and to the side another door leading out to hay, this is where I go when tossing hay over the fence to feed them outside.
photo taken later in the day - by the way.. if you think my barn is messy - you should see my house!
We have had crazy weather, the snow has made shutting the side door tricky, and as it happened I apparently had not shut it correctly the night before, at some time it blew open allowing the sheep outside for snacks - they were having a (pardon the pun) hayday!
It was a bit tricky getting them back indoors - lambs bouncing around like crazy, but at least the weather was better, up from the below freezing temperatures we have had for weeks, today is melting! A quick head count to make sure I had all the sheep and lambs (10 sheep - 13 lambs) and then I had to attend to the new born lamb and its mom....
By the way... our sheep were not going too far, they had hay to eat and could not walk through the 18 inches of snow surrounding the hay, however you should know what to do if you ever encounter escaped livestock when you are out driving in the country - read here.