It feels like we've been going going going without any time to relax these last few weeks. Between work at work and work at home, we're on a merry-go-round. To add to the stress, one of our ewes, Rose, has become a spoiled, demanding, brat. She always was a little mouthy, but since she lambed the problem has increased by a factor of 10. She wants what she wants and she wants it NOW! And she's not afraid to bellow like a cow to get it. Well, on a farm with 50 or 100 acres, that might not be a problem. We have 4, and neighbors in close proximity. Sure, we're in an agricultural district, but people have their limits. And I live with the constant strain of feeling like some of them are probably fed up and wish we'd disappear. One of them I know hates the noise, but his wife said everything bothers him, so I don't know whether to worry about him or not. I probably spend way too much time worrying about what other people think.
Yesterday was the last straw. The day before we had put them on fresh grass, and Rose walked up and down and bellowed (sometimes with her mouth full). Then yesterday evening she started in again. I had taken out some second cut hay (which is like candy to them, and what Rose wants all the time) and they finished that off, and Rose started in with her bawling. I said to myself "I'm not going out there - she'll just have to graze or eat first cut and like it". Half an hour later I was a quivering blob of human anxiety, and Rose was still going at it. And, she'd brought along some of her pals. After a while, they figure something must be wrong, so while Rose sings the verses, they chime in on the chorus. So, we went out and put down a little more hay. Rose dove into it like she hadn't eaten in weeks. I went back inside. Fifteen minutes later she started in again. Ken and I decided that for our sanity's sake, and that of our neighbors, Rose was going to jail.
"Jail" is the pen in the barn where the rams have been living. We had been letting them out to graze in the evening, but they spent most of their time in the barn. Well, this was their big day because they were going to have their freedom. We went out and caught Rose and her lambs (that was an adventure), let the rams out, and put Rose and her lambs in. Now she can bellow all she wants and it's somewhat muffled by the barn. Unfortunately, she can still rile the others up a bit, but not as badly. Also, Quinn appears to have taken on the role of Chief Bawler, but she's not as persistent as Rose is, so there's a little more peace.
Meanwhile I wonder if we've bitten off more than we can chew. We have more land to fence, and not a lot of time available to get it done. Having that extra section done would help a lot as we could put the sheep farther back on the property, not only giving them fresh graze and browse, but the noisy ones would be less audible, and maybe less inclined to be noisy. It's not the work involved that's the problem, but the time it will take, and what we'll have to put up with in the meantime.