Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Sheep 101

It's not often you'll find a cattleman that also has sheep, and if you do find one he usually vehemently denies it in public or the company of strangers. I'll just throw this morsel of personal information out there for you.

I have 3 sheep.

It's true. These 3 sheep have one purpose in life and that is to keep me from mowing about half the yard. They do a real good job of keeping it ate down with very little sheep maintenance on my part. Seriously... these 3 sheep get sheared a couple times a year and the rest of the time they just wander around eating and pooping and eating and pooping. It's like their lives are just so consumed with busyness that they can't take a break from eating to go over somewhere and poop... it's like watching a factory. Consumables in, some wallowing of mouth parts, take another bite, a swallow, a burp, some more swallowing, take another bite and then onto the conveyor belt inside of a sheep that hauls it all out the back end. I can't imagine how much more humans could get done on earth if we were as intense with our jobs as sheep are with eating. (and pooping)

So I started this post with "sheep 101", so I'm gonna give you everything that I've learned about sheep in 10 years of owning em. Here it is... ready?

Regardless of how advanced modern veterinary medicine is and how much money you have to spend on sick sheep, it's a moot point. From the moment you notice that a sheep is sick to the point that it dies is on average, 23 minutes. Sheep die. That's most of what I know for certain about sheep.

See the thing is, when I notice I've got a sick calf or a cow bloats up, I got some time to throw some hard earned money at it before it dies. AND it rarely dies, usually either me or the Vet can save it. Sheep? Not so much.

Here's our 2 white sheep (I'm sure there's some high falootin' breed name for 'em, but I refuse to own up to knowing it) the Psycho Sisters, Dummy and Stupid. That's Dummy on the left. They are both insane and dangerous.

And this is Ruby. Ruby is antique in the world of sheepdom, as near as we can figure she's 14 years old and is also a genius and a legend.

Okay back to sheep dieing. My classic dead sheep story is about a Buck (that's a boy sheep with the jewelry still attached, for you city folk) we had named Randy. He got named after he was here for awhile... the ol boy got around. Anyhow, one morning I left to go to the farm and when I got in the truck there was Randy standing at the orange gate just looking at me leave. 2 hours later I get back home and walk in the house and it went like this.

Sal: Randy's dead

Me: No he's not, I just saw him standing in front of the orange gate 2 hours ago.

Sal: Well, he's dead now.

Me: Where?

Sal: In the barn, he's just in there dead.

Me: You sure he's not just sleepin'?

Sal: *rolling her eyes* Yessss Jacccccceeee. He's a dead sheep.

So I go out to the barn and sure enough, there's ol' Randy, dead as dead can be. And that's the way it goes with sheep, kind of a weird thing. You got sheep they're either alive or dead, there's no in between.

I got one more picture of Ruby... this crazy ol' sheep thinks I'm 'bout it. I give her treats, leftover salad, cut up apples, jello, gum. She's my best buddy and gets it in her little pea brain that she's part dog. I'll let her out and after she get's thru gorging on yard grass she'll just follow me around like she's on a leash. Go figure. I got my best sweatshirt on for this pic.

If any of my cattle owning buddies saw this, it'd most likely be the end of any credibility that I have.



Kim said...

Aw! Poor Randy was probably an awful sick sheep when he was watching you drive off that day--kind of his way of saying goodbye. I'm guessing--and it may be a stretch here being a city gal and all--but it's my impression that sheep don't have a lot of facial expression. Poor Randy was probably in severe and mortal pain and you just couldn't tell due to lack of expression. Is that feasible? Because here's my suggestion. Name the next one Joan Rivers. Seriously! What better name could you come up with for a creature who's unable to move facial muscles? And you know what else? If the darn sheep's anything like its namesake, it will probably live forever! The only draw back is--and this is assuming again that the sheep shares characteristics with the REAL Joan Rivers--the sheep might not think real highly of your best sweatshirt.

Kim said...

Well, I'm not sure how this will sit with you, but I gave you a "You Make My Day" award--you can seen what I'm talking about on my January 10th blog post. It's one of those things that goes around. Kind of like the flu. Of course, you can ignore it if you're so inclined, but I thought I'd mention your blog on mine so others can read about sheep digestion and enjoy the photo of your outhouse-hauling buddy. Kind of reminds me of that cable TV show where they show you how they move bridges, building, and other stuff. All I know is that with this writer's strike dragging on and on, some people are going to need a little entertainment, and I think you're it!

Vicky said...

The Psycho Sisters! Too funny! I had forgotten about them!

I was going to send you a pack of Jello for Ruby for Christmas, but I forgot. In fact, your Christmas card is still in my car! Give the old gal a hello from me, will you? Had a lot of laughs at her expense!

Oh, and we won't tell the cattlemen about your sheep. Ssshhh... (Hugs)

Cowguy said...,

Yes, you've correctly assumed that Botox injections would just be lost on sheep, there's just not much in the way of facial expressions. Ruby smiles when she's gassed up, sorta like a baby does, but it's mostly involuntary so it doesn't really count. I like the idea of Joan Rivers for a sheep name, it certainly makes more sense than say... Bea Arthur, which was my "waiting in the wings" name for the next sheep.

Next... seriously... I won an award?!? I don't know what to say. Wait, it's coming to me.


I'm flattered and a little taken aback to learn of this awarding of the "You Make My Day" award of awards. I promise to not spend it all in one place and to get something nice for my mom and not blow it all on sleazy detective magazines and candy cigarettes like I usually do.

Thanks Kim! :-)