We are lucky enough to have seven beautiful MacArthur Merino sheep at the Backyard to Bush Farm. The group includes Hanky, Olive, Winifred and Berry, with youngsters Wally, Tiny and Bob. It’s a family affair! They all have their own distinct personalities and can be very cheeky!
Our sheep are full of beans in the morning when the keepers open their gate so that they can go into the farmyard to explore and have a run around, especially now that Bob and Wally, our young rams, are maturing and love playing chasies with the herd. As soon as one of the sheep starts running and jumping, they all start and it’s hard to make them stop! But it’s Winifred aka “Wini” who is the leader of the group that tells them when it’s time to calm down. Whatever Wini does goes, and the rest of the group are happy to follow her lead. So basically, you could say she’s the intelligent and sensible ewe of the group!
Actually, all our sheep are trained! They all know their names and come when they’re called and they will follow the keepers so that they can go for walks around the zoo! Their favourite places to go are the concert lawns, where they can have a nibble on some tasty grass ,and then exciting visitors by surprising them in the Backyard to Bush House! Who’s ever seen a sheep in a house?! They love wandering through the house, vegetable garden, past the rabbits and guinea pigs, “bah-ing” hello as they trot down to the beautiful duck pond on the way back to the farmyard!
But it’s hot work doing all that walking when the weather’s getting warmer and you’re carrying around four kilos of wool, so it’s time to lighten the load. On Monday 7th October 2013 Steve from Shearpower2Ewe will be coming to Backyard to Bush to shear our sheep. Come visit us at the Farmyard and watch as Steve shows us how he shears them and you could even get a chance to hold some of Wini’s wool! The ewes will be glad to feel a little cooler and maybe they’ll be able to run around the Farmyard even faster without all of that wool holding them back... until next year!
- Backyard to Bush Keeper, Bec
Taronga Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 9978 4606
Taronga Western Plains Zoo, Media Relations
(02) 6881 1400
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