When i do my morning chores of feeding all the animals i will sometimes let the sheep out so they can follow me down to the lower part of the farm and do a bit of running and playing. A few days ago, in the midst of this routine, i noticed that diosa was following me like a shadow. she didn't care where she was in relation to the other sheep as long as she was right next to me and weirdest of all didn't care if i touched her. Diosa has never let me really touch her....ever. not even a scratch on the head. and she has always been the easiest to get moving by just laying a brief hand anywhere on her body thus jolting her into immediate springy action. But not this day. I was able to lean down and put my arms around her middle and squeeze....and she didn't budge. Thinking she might be ill, I parted her wool and checked her ribs to gauge her weight, checked her ears, her eyes, her mouth and lifted her tail to see how everything was looking under there....she just didn't move....it was like she was in a trance.....and she kept wagging her tail quite vigorously.
later that day, while chatting with my mom, i mentioned that i was kind of worried about diosa and told her all about the odd behavior. maybe my mom had just enough of that outsider perspective cuz right away she thought it was hormonal. "could she be in heat?".
i was the closest thing to a ram that diosa was gonna get....she was standing for me....and it totally explains the super wagging of her tail when i would place my hands on her body.
as of the next day, it was over. she's right back to flitting and jumping and being joyfully evasive of all touch. Just like that. Their estrus cycle is something like every 17 days or so, seasonally....so we'll see if it happens again.
and now i know what to look for in all of them.
my little lambs are all grown up.
and check out this most gorgeous navajo churro ram. i pulled this from the "sheep is life" website (see worthy linkage). just stunning.