Some time ago, I told you about bringing the sheep into the sheds for the winter.
Well, they have been happily tucked away out of the weather since then. They like it in the shed. They do not worry about what to eat. They do not worry about loud noises. They do not worry about feeling cold. I like it in the shed too. There is plenty of room and it is nice and dry. All of the sheep are safe. They are behind bars in pens so that they cannot escape. Where the sheep are, there is soft bedding. I have tested it out. It is very comfortable. I have even enjoyed some naps in the shed myself… not with the sheep though! Oh no! That would not be right at all! I have my own bed where I can go and sleep. Because I am A Good Boy.
The sheep drink lots of water. It is very important for them. All through the day, they drink and drink and drink. They have a Magic Water Bowl that never empties. Even when the sheep drink from it, it fills right back up. I swear. I have heard it with my own ears. All of the different groups of sheep have their own Magic Water Bowl. The bowls are blue and stuck on the wall. I have heard Alpha-Dad say that this is better for lambing time, because the lambs cannot fall in. I have heard Mom-Farmer say that they are nice and easy to clean. And the sheep? They are happy because they are not thirsty.
The sheep eat silage. This is grass that we cut from the fields in the summer months. Then, we wrapped it in plastic so that good for eating all through the winter. I do not like to eat the silage. It gives me a pain in my tummy.
Alpha-Dad has made it so that they have big food dishes - He calls them Feeders. Every day, morning and evening, we go to the shed. We put the silage in the Feeder. Lots of silage The sheep must always have lots of silage. Their job is to eat lots and lots to feed the lambs in their bellies. They eat the silage and the lambs grow. If there is not enough for them all, they get impatient. Then, when the silage comes they push each other. They all think they are the hungriest sheep. I tell them “Stop shoving! There is lots for you all!” but they do not listen. They do not understand. Silly sheep.
The silage comes in big bales, wrapped in plastic. It can only be moved with the Tractor. It is very heavy. Sometimes I go in the Tractor to move the bales. There is a spot where I can sit and see what is going on.
The bales are put next to the Feeder and then the plastic is taken off. There is netting on them too. The netting keeps the bales together but when we open them, we must take it off. If the netting went into the Feeder it might get eaten by the sheep. It would tangle in their bellies. That would be very bad. They do not understand it is not good for eating. Then, we use the big jaws of the Tractor to put the silage into the Feeder.
Alpha-Dad is my Best Friend. When He goes away to work, He leaves me at home. I wish He would not go. But I stay, like He asks. And I wait for Him to return. I miss Him. While he is gone, I mind the farm with Mom-Farmer. I like Mom-Farmer. She gives me treats and belly-rubs. I love belly-rubs. We look after the sheep together while he is away. I keep my eyes open, always watching. I remember all the things that Alpha-Dad must know when He returns. Then, I sit with Him and He rubs my head and I give Him my full report. He doesn’t usually comment much. But He tells me I am a Good Boy.
On those short winter days, we go to the sheds every day. It is often dark until morning school time and then the sun hides again in the late afternoon. It is dark so much. But I am brave. I do not mind the dark. And so, every morning, with Mom-Farmer or Alpha-Dad, we go to visit the sheep in the sheds. We look at them. Mom-Farmer talks to them. She sings to them too sometimes. But I must only listen and be quiet. I must not bark. We must be quiet in the sheds. The sheep can easily become upset. We would not like that to happen. They must be calm.
There is no moving of the sheep in the winter. It is quiet with the same routine every day. We make sure that the sheds are clean and quiet and that the sheep are happy. All of the silage we give them helps their bellies to swell. Then later on when the days stretch, the lambs will come. But for now, I stay quiet. I do not bark and make noise. I am quiet and watching.
For now, that is my job. Because I am a Good Boy.