Liam follows me into the pole barn. He’s looking for grain even though there is the freshest, greenest second-cut hay in the feeders. There have been days when Liam skips a meal. I’m not sure why, but he is getting old and sometimes he separates himself from the rest of the flock.
Yesterday I made sure he and the older sheep got some grain. The younger sheep aren’t as interested in it. They’d just as quickly eat the hay.
This morning after I finished mucking out the pole barn Liam stayed behind. I filled up the water bucket, fed the hens, and filled up the bird feeder. When I came back, Liam was still in the barn.
He looks stiff like maybe his legs hurt. He’s a big wether. Most male sheep, if they’re not kept for breeding are sent to market as lambs. They don’t get to live as long as my wethers.
When Jon and I lambed about ten years ago, my plan was to send some of the lambs back with the farmer who lent us the breeding Ram (his name was Ted). But once the lambs were born I knew I was no farmer. I couldn’t imagine sending them away.
Liam is the last of the sheep born from that lambing. All the others have already died. So it may be that Liam will not be with us for much longer.
Before I left the barnyard this morning, I brought Liam some hay in the barn. I watched as he pushed it around with his nose, making a little round nest of it. Then he started to nibble, one strand at a time.
By the time I left, he was eating normally.