Sheep have got to be one of the stupidest creatures on earth, if not THE stupidest!
I wanted to put the sheep in an area where the grass is getting quite tall and thick. I opened a small gate off the main paddock area, called to the sheep who, thinking I might have some grain, stampeded to me. If you've never seen a stampeding flock of sheep, well, let me just say you don't want to be in their way. Most of the sheep followed me through the open gate and, realizing they were then free to munch lush grass to their heart's content, moved on past me and spread out to sample the menu. One ewe wasn't so sure but decided to be brave and give it a go so off she went to join the others.
Most of the lambs, who are about 2 months old now and already about 40 lbs., followed, with the exception of 4 which, although they had seen the others go through the gate, decided they'd try their luck running further down the fence line. I moved around behind them and drove them back toward the open gate. Now having seen the others go through I thought it would be a simple matter of getting them close enough that they'd figure out they could join the flock by just moving their cute little bodies through the opening. Nope. They ran right past it. I got behind them again, doing my best impersonation of a herding dog (without the bark of course), and moved them back toward the opening. When they got close I backed off hoping they'd wander through. Nope.
I next got a goat and led it back and forth through the gate several times in the hopes the lambs would see they could go through the opening. Then I got behind them again and, with some fancy footwork on my part, moved them back toward the gate. 2 of them decided to follow the goat through with the other 2 looking on. But apparently the remaining 2 lambs felt they were headed for certain doom and ran down the fence line again. Of course by this time they were bellowing loudly for their mothers who were busy devouring the 5-star cuisine and couldn't have cared less what their lambs were up to. I got them turned around and headed toward the opening again and, again, they ran right past it.
Now I was certain these 2 were especially dumb, even for sheep. I thought that maybe if I opened the other gate, which is 12' wide, they'd go through that one. I herded them toward that larger opening and, you guessed it, they ran right past that one too. And the whole flock was just inside in plain view!
Not to be thwarted, I went to the barn, got some grain and called to the sheep who stampeded through the smaller gate back into the main paddock area. My thought was to bring the sheep back through and perhaps they'd stay together as a flock with the 2 really stupid lambs included. This plan finally worked and they all moved off to resume stuffing their faces.
I figure anything this stupid deserves to be eaten. But this leaves me with a question - If you are what you eat what does that make us when we eat stupid animals? Just food for thought (sorry, couldn't resist).
(Be sure to check out what happens next at Stupid Sheep - Part 2)