Constance, The New Zelda?

Constance with Liam in the background

Except for Asher, who plants his two front feet in the feeder when he eats, the rest of the sheep are constantly moving around it like they’re playing musical chairs.

This morning  Constance showed her true self again when she walked right up to Liam, my biggest wether, nudged him out of the way, and stuck her head in the feeder.  I was truly surprised when I saw Liam step away from the feeder, mouth full of hay to make space for her.

I’d seen Liam push many sheep away from the feeder, but never make room for one. Was he deferring to her because she’s a lamb I wondered?

But just a moment later he did that thing that the sheep do when they want to push another sheep away.  He picked up his front foot and pawed at Constance’s shoulder.

I’ve seen him do this before and the sheep always move away.   But Constance didn’t budge, she just kept eating.  Liam tried a few more times before giving up.  Then, he walked up to Pumpkin, who is three times as big as Constance, and pushed him out of the way, taking his place at the feeder.

A couple of weeks ago I wrote that I thought that Constance, who has great presence and attitude, might be our new Zelda.  What I saw today makes me think it might really be true.

Constance, New Leader Of The Flock?

Constance, Lori, and Merricat

When I first got my sheep I knew little about them. So little I even wondered if they really had different personalities.

If I hadn’t already seen it with Tess, Suzy, and Socks, the first three sheep I got I had no doubt when Zelda came to Bedlam Farm.  I named her after Zelda Fitzgerald who had a reputation for being an independent woman, in touch with her wild side.

Now I’m sure that the farmer who gave her to me did it to get rid of her.

He drove her to the farm with a flock of his sheep who were grazing there for the summer.  When I tried to put her with my new sheep, she broke through the fence to be with her flock.  Eventually, I just let her stay with them, till the farmer took his sheep home in the fall.

When we came to the new Bedlam Farm, where we live now, she broke out of the fence again.  This time taking the rest of the sheep with her.  They ran up Route 22 as cars and trucks dodged them.  When they got to a house that had two donkeys in their pasture, the sheep stopped to graze.  They broke out one more time before we got the fence secured enough to hold her.

When Zelda died last year I kept expecting someone to take her place, but no one did.

From the first, I saw something in Constance, that reminded me of Zelda.   She came out of Liz’s truck making a lot of noise.  The first time she saw me put hay in the feeder she ran to it.  When the other sheep pushed her away, she went right back, finding a place next to Asher and plunging her head into the hay.  She’s comfortable around Fate and Zinnia and isn’t intimidated by the other sheep.

Constance still mostly hangs around with Lori,  Merricat, and now Scott, our newest lamb, but she’s often out in front of them leading the way.

Constance has the kind of confidence, attitude, and determination I haven’t seen since Zelda.  I think she just may grow up to be the new leader of the flock.

So Many Names….

Constance (in the lead, she might just be the new Zelda), Merricat, Lori and …

I received over a hundred suggestions for names for our new lamb.  Jon and  I will look through them all and announce our choice tomorrow on our podcast and on our blogs.

Thank you all so much for your input!  It’s been fun reading through all the suggestions and explanations for the many different names.

Graining Merricat

Merricat eating grain in her pile of hay.

“You love having lambs,” Jon said to me as we pulled out of the driveway and I scanned the pasture for Merricat and Constance.  Jon is always there to remind me of my nurturing nature.  I have come to accept this idea with the qualifier that my nurturing instincts are limited to baby animals and don’t extend to human babies.

It’s true I’ve been very attentive to the new lambs.

This morning all the sheep were in the barnyard, including Constance, but Merricat was not with them.  I never like to see a sheep by herself, it just isn’t natural for herd animals like sheep,  especially a lamb who is already having some issues getting enough food.

But as I brought the hay into the barnyard, Merricat emerged from the barn looking as hungry as the rest of the sheep.   As she always does at first, she tried to make her way to the feeder but as soon as the bigger sheep pushed her away she just stood there looking lost.

I pulled a bunch of hay from the feeder and put it on the ground.  She immediately started eating but I do worry about her.  So I quietly went into the barn and got a handful of grain which I dropped in the pile of hay Merricat was eating from.

She immediately started to gobble it up.

I had to be quiet about it, because if the other sheep hear me lift the metal top of the pail the grain is in they’ll come running.  But I was able to trick them and it was only when Merricat had eaten most of the grain that Constance and Lori came to eat with her.

I’m going to try to get Merricat to follow me into the barn and feed her grain away from the other sheep as I was able to get Zelda and Griselle to do.

I think she may need the extra energy that grain provides especially with the coming winter.

Full Moon Fiber Art