Wild little antelope – that’s what our young ewes often act like for the first year or two. This year, I decided to put some effort into taming the 3 we kept. In November, after the mature ewes went in with the ram, I caught and worked with the young ones daily for awhile. Soon they were walking beside or just ahead of me fairly cooperatively. After the first couple of weeks, I started letting our two youngest children, aged 2 and 4, come out and help.
While not exactly submissive, the little ewes do come running at the shake of a grain bucket now, and are beginning to trust people. This will make shearing, lambing, and other human interactions less stressful. I plan to use my newly learned strategies on next year’s lambs when they’re younger, right after weaning, and hopefully our sheep customers will have halter-trained babies by pick-up time!