Sheep – Out on Good Behavior

The latest installment in the Sheep Tales Category

sheepWhat happens when the sheep come out and they actually behave like well mannered ruminants?  Photos, of course!

The sheep had not been out of their fenced area by the barn for a few days.  The weather doesn’t always cooperate.  While I am a dedicated shepherdess, I am not willing to stand out in the cold and rain, chasing the sheep from one area to the next.  A beautiful day arrived recently, and I set aside time to let the grazers out to chomp on what green could be found.  Since the winter has been mild so far, there is a fair amount of green grass to be found.  


We started out heading over the hill on an adventure hike

We raise a small flock of wool producing sheep on our small farm.  We feed both hay and let them graze.  However our fenced grazing area needs work, and since there are still 24 hours in a day, that has yet to be accomplished.  So when they are out grazing, I need to be watching to make sure they don’t wander towards the road.  


It is possible to raise small ruminants in a paddock situation.  We use a paddock/fenced area off of the barn and have been successful with this system for many years of goats and sheep.  


Millie and Ike spent some quality time discussing sheep issues of the day. Millie “mothers” Ike

The best part of this day was the photos I took!  Sometimes it just works.  This was a good day for photos, as the temperature was warm and the sun was partially hiding behind a cloud cover.  Since I am always learning how to use all the settings on my camera, and lighting is still a bit of a challenge for me, not having the bright mid day sun was actually good for me.


the flock did go into the woods behind the pigs but they came right back out.

When I am photographing our animals, I like  to get up close and personal.  Sometimes that leads to the animals feeling a bit uncomfortable and like I am overstepping my boundaries!  I surely don’t want them to not want me and my camera around, so I try to respect their space.  With my new 85mm fixed lens, I can get some closeups without being really close.  I am working on the blurred background that the lens provides.  That blurred background can be enlarged or not by using different f-stops.  I think.  Learning the camera, when not using the auto settings, is a huge challenge for me.  (please feel free to correct my understanding in the comments section. )  


So anyway, my photography sessions last a good while because I take the time to let the animals and birds get used to me following them around.  I also take about a million shots and end up with maybe ten or twenty decent ones.  The wonder and beauty of digital.  It’s free!  Take as many as you want! Edit the good ones and forget the rest.

The downside of the fixed lens is that I can’t get away from some eager models fast enough and end up with extreme closeups!


On this particular day, a lot was going on at the farm property.  Logging trucks were exiting and entering to carry off the logs being harvested.  We had a well pump issue in the farm house and the repairman was working on that.  I thought it might cause the sheep to freak out and scatter all over but it actually helped them decide to go into the large fenced area and STAY THERE!  They stayed for a long time, munching on grass and weeds.  


I wandered around taking pictures.  And when we had enough, (actually, probably just me, I was getting hungry), I grabbed some grain and led them back to the barn with NO PROBLEMS!  Yes, I know.  It’s hard to believe.  I wish I had a funny anecdote or an amusing story to relay about me falling down or the sheep escaping but they were actually really well behaved. 


Take heart! Miracles do happen even with Sheep!


The End


Sheep tales

Need another amusing animal post?  Check out this one from  What happens when the doorbell rings and you’re holding a sick chicken?