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Breakfast for the sheep

As well as the ‘daily hay ceremony‘ which I wrote about a couple of months ago, I thought I would write a few words about another little ceremony which the sheep really enjoy; the daily ‘nut ceremony’.

Sheep go absolutely bonkers for their nuts.  I should add, these are not actual nuts, ‘sheep nuts’ are rolled pellets containing a variety of grains and legumes.

sheep heading towards the gate

Like the hay, we only do the ‘nut ceremony’ during the winter when the sheep appreciate a little extra nutrition.

First thing every morning I scoop a carefully measured amount into a bucket, then, bucket in one hand, dog leads in the other I call the the dogs and off we go.

first at the trough – Clippy the hen

Our sheep are really good at telling the time.  They come down to the paddock exactly half an hour before I make an appearance and stand in a group looking towards the house.

Then they watch me walking along the fence round the outside of the paddock before moving as one unit to the gate which stands between them and the troughs soon to be filled with ‘nuts’.

I used to fill the troughs while the sheep milled around me but this proved slightly hazardous and required my wits about me, not a great situation to be in before I’ve had my breakfast.  Sheep can be quite adept at rugby and thought nothing of tackling me to the ground if it meant they could stick their head in a bucket.

waiting at the gate
yum yum!

These days I put the troughs in a separate part of the paddock and close the gate before the sheep come down so they can’t get up to tricks.  This makes life much easier and is also very amusing to watch when I open the gate and the sheep bundle through closely followed by Elliot who likes to join in the scrum.