I think I am getting this sheep farming thing. I decided I should call myself a sheep farmer rather than a shepherd though I would rather be a shepherd sometimes. I earlier went along with my, nephew's definition (see http://6sheepandallama.blogspot.com/2011/05/shepherd-or-sheep-farmer.html ) that a shepherd leads his sheep and a sheep farmer has a dog that moves sheep by nipping at their heels, but now I have a different definition. I think a shepherd hangs out with his/her sheep and communes with them and a sheep farmer just moves them around to do things to them or for them. Lately, it seems that I am just feeding them or getting them water and today I have to get a couple of them in for a check (grooming). Mostly, I think, it has been the mud thing or just not great weather, that has kept me from hanging out more. A couple of days have been great but I have had other things I needed to do. I keep dreaming of those great days when we all hang out in the delightful sun and gently breeze.
Yes, I can get those things done that need to get done, so I am a pretty good sheep farmer. I am getting better and faster at trimming hooves but don't seem to get it done as often as I should. I don't panic about things like I used to, like limping sheep. No, they aren't all going around limping. It is just that this week 2 were limping slightly, at different times. I think part of it is the uneven hard mud. Also, I think sheep and chickens just get stepped on sometimes or twist an ankle for whatever reason. Anyway, I am going to check out a few feet today just to see how they look.
I used to even worry that I was giving too much hay or not enough. I have come to realize it isn't all that critical and they will let me know if it is not enough. The biggest problem is if they get too much grain and that certainly isn't the case around here.
Whether I am a sheep farmer or a shepherd I have really gotten to know my sheep better and they, me. Most of them trust me. And sometimes when I am hanging out at a fence, Mira or Zorra, or Charlotte or Amelia will come over just to get a good rub.