Brownie came back yesterday after an extended play date (ahem) with Whitey the ram at her old farm. She left December 5th and we got her back yesterday.
We had hoped to breed her in November, but she got a scratch on her eye and some sort of mild infection for a few days. At first we thought it was pink eye, which would be really bad since it is communicable and could be passed to the other sheep. By chance, a few days after her eye starting looking a bit off, our mobile vet came to the house to trim the cats’ nails. She’s not a small animal expert, but she looked at Brownie, put some dye in her eye, determined it was a small scratch, put some antibiotic ointment in her eye, and gave us the tube to do ourselves. It was better within a few days so Brownie went off to her home farm in early December.
It was fascinating watching Brownie interact with the rest of the sheep–really, her flock, and I do mean her–upon her return.
All of the sheep were pretty mellow. It was clear Brownie remembered them and vice versa. Tagine and Tatanka (the wethers) came up to her first. It was their usual flock of six almost immediately–Brownie at the helm with the rest of the sheep following her (literally). I don’t remember how Cinnamon and Brownie greeted one another, but June Bug and Brownie were super cute. Junie sidled up to her, rubbing most of her body against Brownie’s. Brownie leaned her head down and against June Bug’s noggin.
Spot and Brownie’s interaction was more interesting. I swore I’d put this to memory, but it’s already a little fuzzy. I think Brownie walked up to Spot, they both walked backwards, and then they did the head butt thing that is somewhat friendly, but more intense than some head bunks. What was really interesting is that Spot then lowered her head, Brownie got closer to her, and then they more gently nuzzled muzzles and bunked heads.
So, what does it mean???
Spot was sort of in charge while Brownie was gone. Was Brownie asserting dominance and reclaiming her top sheep status from her wing man–um, flock girl? hoof girl? — before they “made up” and greeted one another? Were they just greeting each other in a slightly different way from some of the others?