Monday, August 4, 2014

Wrong Side of the Fence

Fences are a farmer's best friend and obstacle to get beyond at the same time.  Farm animals are constantly on the wrong side of the fence.  Take yesterday for example.

I have been letting the geese out of their confined area when I can watch them.  The sheep and the geese are not easy going like the sheep and the chickens.  The geese peck at the sheep, which the sheep seem to enjoy up to a point.  But then Cirrus and Sal both gang up on one sheep and peck their ears, nose, legs, and tails all the while squawking loudly.  So I like to arrange get togethers in the morning as the sheep are coming back from the pasture and in the evening when they are getting ready to go out.  Visits in the barn when the sheep want to lay low are not good times.

 Yesterday, I wanted the geese to go out further toward the pasture in the morning but Cirrus wanted to take his morning swim.  If I go out with Sal, Cirrus gets out of the tub and goes to the closest point to us as he can, but inside the fence.  He doesn't know how to go around.  So then I took Sal back to the gate to have Cirrus follow us but this time she goes in the gate and wants to take a swim, so I closed the gate with both inside.  When I went out to where the sheep were, Cirrus and Sal came as close as they could but still on the wrong side of the fence.  Later in the day, I let the geese out and they came down by the barnyard gate where the sheep were.  Charlotte, decided to go into the geese area and see what they had to eat.  I am trying to let the geese know that the sheep are above them in the barnyard hierarchy  and I am the queen so I wanted to give the sheep a treat before I fed the geese and put them in for the night.  Charlotte was on the wrong side of the fence so I had to lead the sheep up to the geese gate so Charlotte would join us.  First though, I had to lead the geese to their pen and close the door (without feeding them) so I could get Charlotte outside the run fence to eat first.  Maybe, I should have let all the sheep in the run area and fed them just outside the pen.

Many would say, I worry too much and I should just let them work it out.  I am, but with supervision.  At first I was standing between them refereeing, now I stand with the sheep trying to get the geese to be nice.  The sheep do head butt the geese but the geese keep coming back for more squawking louder.

I want them to all be on one side of the fence, the right side, together.  I hope that day comes soon.

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