Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sudden New Friend

 (LRO Ash x RiverOaks Lana)
Thanks to a mad flock-wide rush to the grain treat being served, I was able to catch this wary little ewe lamb and get her coat on her.  She is incredibly soft.

This is Penelope's dam, Lana.  Lana came to live here about a year ago, and I have never had such a flighty ewe in my flock before.  I couldn't tempt her to come near me.  She kept the flock between herself and me at all times.  She was shy about coming up for grain.  She would climb the walls when I entered her lambing jug this spring.  Nothing seemed to ever reassure her that I wanted to be nice and gentle to her.

Then Clancy and I caught all the girls a few days ago to put coats on them.  Lana freaked out when we caught her diving in at the grain pan, and she struggled while we wrestled with her coat.  But we didn't just let her bolt as soon as we finished.  We held her gently and rubbed her chest and scratched her ears for a moment while we softly let go of her, and then she trotted off as soon as she realized she was free. 

Later that day, I visited the pasture to take some pictures.  Without any sort of warning, Lana walked right up to me and put her head in my lap.  I was stunned...even more so when she didn't flinch as I raised my hand and began scratching her ears.  After a nice long lovey session, I was the one to move away first.  And ever since then, Lana has come straight up to me for pets as soon as I enter the pasture.

I treasure miracles such as unexpected and precious!  It might be only a matter of time now before Lana's bewildered, flighty eweling, Penelope, decides to come in close enough with her mother that I can pet her too.  I'm hoping.  :) 


Michelle said...

This is precisely why I tame all my sheep by several/many sessions of catching them, haltering them, and then quietly loving on them so they have a chance to learn to like it. It's always worked for me!

Becky Utecht said...

I'm really surprised to hear she was that wild for you Sabrina. I gave her her space as a lamb and she had warmed up to chin scratches, etc. when she left here. The move must have been traumatic for her. I'm really glad that she's finally come around to trusting you - the poor dear.

Gail V said...

This gives me hope for a certain mioget ewe with exquisite fleece and build, here, who is TERRIFIED of us. She is so outstanding that we hate to send her on... but we rarely keep wild sheepies.

Sabrina Wille Erickson said...

I think Lana was very disrupted by the move. It just took her a long time to relax. Hannah, on the other hand, has been in my lap since day one. :)