(Feeding Iona cookies)
I don’t really know the answer to this question, but I am curious. I have talked before about our sheep and our work with taming them. This winter we had a lot of progress. In the early part of the winter, we purchased a shepherd’s hook. Every morning when I went into the sheep pen to give them their daily “cookie”(oats, molasses and apples), I would bring the hook in with me – let them smell and lick it, and use it to “pet” them, so they would get used to it being on them, so we could eventually use it to catch them.
During winter, we wore the same coats, day in and day out. I also fell out of the habit of using the shepherd’s hook in February when they came back from a month at the breeders. Well as the weather changed and we stopped wearing the coats, they began to get more skittish, especially when we were just taking walks passed their pen, they would either hide in their enclosure or bend their heads and necks low to the ground, ready to jump and run.
It made us think, did they recognize us with the pattern of the coats? I am still not sure. But this week I started using the shepherd’s hook again and they have been much friendlier. Do they remember the hook from before? Is the association between that and the cookies just part of their psyche now?
So how do your sheep recognize you?