Welcome to the flock party
We are so glad you're here!
You are not alone. Whatever hard or scary or overwhelming thing you’re facing right now, know that you’ve got backup. Your flock, whether it’s big or small, human or ovine, is here for you. — Sweet Puck, giving Ms. Juliet a peptalk
Here’s What’s Happening at Good Spirits Farm
Working Juliet into the herd this week has been the emotional equivalent of riding “The Scrambler” at the county fair. On Sunday morning, I took Juliet and Puck out to join the other sheepies. Things seemed okay! Juliet was nervous, but stayed by Puck. My plan worked! I am a genius! I thought to myself. As I walked away from the pasture, I heard Juliet cry for me for a few minutes, but then she seemed to settle in.
A few hours later, though, I went to check on her and she was hanging out all by herself. Worse, she was limping. I checked her foot for thorns or other issues, and saw nothing. My guess is that a mama sheep gave her a few really good head butts and one of them managed to do some damage.
I tried to do tough love, I really did! I made Juliet spend the night out with the flock. But when I came out in the morning to check on her, she was still all by herself in the corner of the pasture I’d left her in. My heart broke. Puck, as sweet as he is, had been forced to choose between staying with his mom and siblings and staying with Juliet, and he chose the former. My grand plan was obviously not so grand after all. Poor Juliet, out there all night in the dark all by herself.
On Monday night, I gave up and brought Juliet back to the barn. I just felt so bad for her. (I also worried she was vulnerable to coyotes since she’s very small.) I think she was happy to be back with me.
On Tuesday morning I took Juliet back out to the herd while I restrategized. Over the weekend, I thought I’d have to try a new tactic: Weaning ALL the lambs and putting them together, and keeping the mean mamas in a different pen for a while. That was going to be a lot of work logistically, but I was ready to do it. However: Something changed on Tuesday. Maybe it was getting a break to recoup in the barn (we all need breaks!). Maybe it was just that time tends to make a lot of things more bearable. Either way, when I came back out to pick Ms. Juliet up from Sheep daycare in the evening, she was grazing closeish to the other sheep. Progress!
Throughout the week, things have gotten better. I usually find Juliet with, or close to the herd. Of course, she still sprints to the fence whenever she hears my voice. She is truly my sheepie, and she doesn’t want me to forget it. I’ve continued to bring her in at night, mostly because I love our evening strolls across the farm—Juliet picking at choice blades of grass and me observing the butterflies and birds as we go. Someday she’ll stay with the flock full-time. For now, I’m just happy that she’s on her way toward living her best sheep life.
Here’s What I Loved This Week
Your sheep name suggestions! One of the mamas is now “Nurse” and the other is “Beatrice” (or, Baaa-atrice). The two ewe lambs that will grow up with Juliet are going to be “Titania” and “Peaseblossom.” Thank you all for your great ideas!