Raising Finnish Landrace, Cotswold, Border Leicester, and Romeldales, in the Heart of Illinois, as well as working with rescue llamas.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Recent Experience....

There was a message about Finnsheep intelligence in the last couple weeks on the Finnsheep yahoo group.... until a recent morning I was inclined to agree with the writer's assessment of Finns being more intelligent than other breeds of sheep. Our Finnsheep have consistently shown us they are more physically able than our other breeds from the minute they arrived here. Some are downright goat like in their abilities. The Finns are more active, physically more able in terms of jumping on top of those round bales (!). Our Finnsheep generally can read human intentions quicker than our other breeds, Shetland excluded. Our Cotswolds and Border Leicesters are so laid back they don’t really care about human intentions just grass, and getting a good scratch now and then... ya gotta love that about both breeds!!

Since we all know physical prowess doesn’t equal intelligence the question remains does moxie equal intelligence?? Here was a recent morning’s Finnsheep related escapade:

Nora is one of my favorite Finn ewes; she is usually clever, calm, and social. She is a great Mama who raised well behaved healthy triplets this year with out even breaking a sweat. She has a nice fleece that she keeps fairly tidy, and all around enjoyable to be around. This morning my eldest went out to do morning chores, planning on starting as usual with taking the feed to the cows and rams. However, Nora had other plans for him. As he walked by the chicken co-op he discovered Nora, darling Nora with her TOUNGUE stuck in the chicken run fence. He quickly got her disentangled. Now I, like you am thinking, 'WHY?!! What on earth could there possibly be in or on that fence that she could possibly need to lick?!' Chicken with the feathers on can’t taste good to a sheep, not to mention the possibility of getting peck right on the tongue. The answer, a chicken flock block about 18 inches  away from the  fence. Thank heavens she didn’t reach it!!! Chicken feed can be deadly to sheep it contains copper and higher protein level than most sheep feeds. While it is comical now, it could have had a disastrous ending for Nora.

I guess the jury is still out on sheep intelligence here……. I can still hear him muttering, about Nora getting tongue being caught in the fence!

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