Sneaky sheep

Our new sheep have been settling in well and it feels a bit like they’ve always been here. It’s rather nice, watching them potter about maa-ing at each and hoovering up the grass.

Innocent-looking sheep. Don’t let their appearance of guileless virtue fool you!

However we have a problem. We built our new chicken enclosure in a nice sheltered bit of one of our lower paddocks so that they wouldn’t be buffeted by the weather in the winter and we always knew their little corner would be within a paddock inhabited by sheep.

So we built a little door, a hen hatch if you will, so that they could bumble in and out of their run and free range the whole acre and a half paddocks but so that sheep would be kept out. Sheep have been a steep learning curve for us so far and oe of the main lessons has been the lengths they’ll go to in order to get food. The sheep have been squeezing their woolly bodies in through the hen flap and stealing their food!IMG_1026 2They knock the rat-proof (but clearly not sheep-proof) feeders off the chicken run walls and inhale all of the layers pellets and corn so that when we go up in the afternoon to collect eggs we find a sad bunch of hens pecking around the floor and clucking disconsolately. They are obviously considerably larger than a hen so I was cross to notice today that they’ve actually broken the hen hatch in their haste to get food that is not lawfully theirs.

The scene of the crime!

The upshot? The sheep were banished in disgrace to the upper paddock until the hatch was made considerably smaller. To our amazement they still squeezed through once we’d added one plank but two of them seem to have done the trick. We now have angry sheep maa-ing their annoyance.  Everyone has always told me how daft sheep are but it’s possible we got a rogue batch of them: these are seriously sneaky! Hopefully even our stealth sheep can’t fit through here:

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We farm a three acre smallholding in Hampshire, England, having fled London in pursuit of the good life for our little family. We mess about with an assorted menagerie and try to be as self-sufficient as possible in meat and fruit and vegetables whilst enjoying our plot and an outdoors lifestyle with our son. I am the luckiest person that I know.

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