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Pippin's person

Dumb question re: sheep and rain

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We've had our sheep for about six weeks now and it's just been delightful. When I got home today, it was pouring rain and they were all standing around like statues, looking kind of bedraggled out in the pasture. They have a dry run-in (and they go there in the heat). They always seem to stay out in the pasture when it rains, but they never look all that comfortable. Is this normal sheep behavior?

 

I wanted to double check as the farm from whence they came offered them some other options (two barns) and they were frequently in one of those (by choice). We could offer them a barn stall as a run-in in addition to their actual run-in, but I've been wanting to save the stalls for any eventual need for isolation.

 

Here they are on a sunny day. I didn't imagine how peaceful it would be to look out and see them doing their sheep things out in the pasture. Very pleasant indeed.

 

sheep.jpg

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My sheep often choose to stay out in the rain even when shelter is available. If it's particularly nasty weather, they may congregate under the overhang of the tobacco barn, but generally the only time I've seen sheep go in barn stalls is in the heat of the day in summer. They may look unhappy, but if they have shelter and are choosing not to use it (when they clearly know they can use it), then I wouldn't worry about them.

 

J.

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We've had our sheep for about six weeks now and it's just been delightful. When I got home today, it was pouring rain and they were all standing around like statues, looking kind of bedraggled out in the pasture. They have a dry run-in (and they go there in the heat). They always seem to stay out in the pasture when it rains, but they never look all that comfortable. Is this normal sheep behavior?

 

I wanted to double check as the farm from whence they came offered them some other options (two barns) and they were frequently in one of those (by choice). We could offer them a barn stall as a run-in in addition to their actual run-in, but I've been wanting to save the stalls for any eventual need for isolation.

 

Here they are on a sunny day. I didn't imagine how peaceful it would be to look out and see them doing their sheep things out in the pasture. Very pleasant indeed.

 

sheep.jpg

 

Mine head for the barn at the first sign of a sprinkle, but I think it's mainly because the first four we brought home are "barn babies" -- loooove their barn as they were born in Feb and stayed in the barn for about a month before being let out into the wide world. Though they have options for shade (trees), they retreat to the barn several times during the day to rest and to chew their cud The Shetlands would likely stay out in the pasture forever (where they were born) and indeed thought it very strange to be going in that queer place - the first day Silver Belle actually lay down to nap outside the door when the gang of four went in for their nap, and Rose came out with her then paced back inside with the others - trying to decide where to be...then settled with her half sister but was very concerned she wasn't with the flock. Now, Rose too is a barn baby. Silver Belle still lingers by the door...but she's inside the barn...

 

I agree...we spend a great deal of time watching "sheepvision." Most entertaining.

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Thanks for the comments/suggestions. These guys were born in a barn but got turned out while still wee so maybe they just got more used to it.

 

They're eating pasture now, so it'd be tricky to feed them in the barn ;). We have the mineral in the run-in and they eat it, so they must go in there sometimes. They are loving the cool weather that has blown in the last couple of days--they were all gambolling about this evening.

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Don't worry about them Robin. If they really want shelter they will seek it. I know there's been studies done regarding sheep without shelter, and if I remember correctly, they are happiest if they have a windbreak.

 

J.

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My sheep only go in the barn if they think I'm in there giving them something to eat. Rain or shine. They have a lean too off the barn that I see them in if it's really sunny and hot but I've never seen them pick the barn over the lean too.

I've had places where we had no shelter except the trees and I've had places where we've had barns and it's usually the same, they don't choose the barn unless it's freezing out.

 

I think it's healthier. I even lamb outside if I think it's not to cold for babies laying on the ground. I have seen babies frozen to the ground soon after lambing but it wasn't at my house and it was January.

 

your sheep look great! So gald you are finding the "peace" of sheep!

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