We moved the fence posts to extend the grazing area under the birch trees. Elisa twigged on straight away and was the first to push her way through into the long grass. The others were slow to follow but eventually they were all in there. We put some wooden steps on the inside of the enclosure (so I can jump in and out) which they contemplated for quite a while We half expected to see them climb over, Sean- the-Sheep style.
They had become very noisy over the last few days but as soon as they moved into the new area they were very quiet again, too busy eating. And they are doing a great job removing all the lower branches from the birch trees.
With the bright sunshine their wool has changed colour quite dramatically. The two brown sheep are now almost blond and we can see that not all the black sheep are really black. Some of them are really dark brown.
The sheep are trying very very hard to reach the grass on the other side of the fence. This means it's definitely time to move the posts and expand their grazing area. Sooner or later one of them is going to leave a tag behind, or worse, rip an ear. We do keep the grass clipped short on "our" side of the fence, but, the grass is always greener...
P. has figured out some kind of attachment for the Avant which will make hammering the fence posts into the ground (sun-baked clay) significantly easier. But it will still be a heavy job.
Found Zsazsa grazing inside the sheep enclosure, again. Peter had to drag her out.
The sheep seem to have taken a liking to her and they follow her along the perimeter of their enclosure whenever she is nearby.
This little madam has distinguished herself already. Zelda snapped at her on Sunday (not sure why but I think stale bread may have come between them) but she is totally fearless. She is always the first one to run up to the fence when we walk down with the bucket and she is the only one who actively seeks hugs (from us and/or the dogs). She is also one of the smallest, which makes her - of course - one of the cutest. But potentially a troublemaker - she'll be the first one to find a way under the fence.
When I strimmed all the grass around the outside of the fence, the whole flock followed me, all the way round. (Not sure if they figured out why I was doing it. The general idea is that they won't stick their necks through the fence to eat the grass growing on the other side. We'll see...)
Was on the phone, busy, busy when I heard Zsazsa barking in the distance. I guessed where I might find her so I walked across the field towards the sheep enclosure and sure enough, there she was, on the wrong side of the fence. The girls had her more or less surrounded and she looked a little frazzled, "Get me out of here!" So I lifted up the fence to let her out (I was still on the phone). The sheep looked a little disappointed...
The lambs are nibbling at the tips of the branches of the birch trees, which sometimes involves rearing themselves up onto their hind legs but I'm yet to see one of them climb up a tree trunk. When I lean over the fence with the tin bucket full of stale bread 109 (Miss Agility) thinks nothing of propping herself upright against my chest to grab the bread.
The girls have arrived. It was a long drive down from Ostrobothnia so they were happy to get out of the trailor into the field. The elderly ewe, Elisa, is four years old. There are two lambs which are almost a year old (born last August) and ten lambs born this spring (March). Of those ten, eight are black and two are brown. They are all "suomenlammas" a traditional Finnish breed. They come from a beautiful farm in rolling countryside called Ahomaan Lammastila
Wherever Elisa goes, the others follow, very close behind. They like to stare at things. They do a lot of staring. When they are not staring they are eating. They eat a lot.
Zsazsa is having an identity crisis. She is not quite sure which side of the fence she should be on...