Alice Oates

Joined April 2008

My name is Alice and I am a student at Cambridge University. I like taking pictures of anything and everything and it’s always...

Sheep have hearts too

Today, I watched a sheep begin to have her lamb (I live on a farm). She was in the main pen with other sheep likely to lamb soon, and one sheep in particular was watching her.

When we moved her into a separate lambing pen (it prevents lambs getting mixed up, lost, or hurt) the same sheep came to the gate of the main pen, and stood watching, baa-ing quietly.

When I asked, I was told this sheep was a similar age to the sheep giving birth, and they had apparently remained friends. The sheep only went away when she seemed assured that the birth had gone fine, her friend wasn’t in any trouble, and was perfectly capable of looking after the lamb.

The other sheep continued to watch her, and I found it amusing that most of them turned away when told ’it’s a girl’

This is one of those things that show you that sheep aren’t just one big flock, they’re individuals too. Most people know this about animals such as dog, horses, even cows, because they’re kept in smaller numbers, have more of a relationship with humans, and grow slower, so we have time to watch their characters develop. Sheep are generally kept in large flocks, and don’t interact with humans much. So we tend to lump them all in with one silly, flock-following, disease-getting character, whereas really, sheep have hearts in the right place, too.

By the way, the lamb is called Amanda.

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