Andrew Brave Steelman, the Show lamb from Irish descent, arrived on the Open Range second week in March, a mere two weeks before he was scheduled to move to the freezer. It was stressful at first, a constant worry the beast was too loud and it was going to piss off the neighbors. We built him a pen that he quickly destroyed. We built an electric fence that worked to keep him off the deck that lasted for a while. Finally, we just loved him and cleaned up the poop every day.
For 5 months, we thought Sir Andrew the Brave was loved by all, most of the neighbors at least pretended to love him. He’s a friendly creature, well trained in the art of showmanship.
Shout out from the Sheep
No getting around it, sheep are adorable, but they are not for everyone. While I’m sure at least one of my neighbors will disagree, for the most part Andrew the Brave is a quiet sheep. But, if you don’t feed him breakfast shortly after sunrise, he becomes agitated. For those of you that don’t have a sheep in your backyard, you might be wondering what a sheep does when it isn’t getting its way. Well, they “Bahh”, and it is loud. I’m not sure if I would say it louder than a dog bark, or more obnoxious. It is booming and deep, and makes you pause when you hear it the first few times in a neighborhood. Dog barks have a wide range of sounds, a sheep’s voice is distinctly standard base. If they are not content, they will let you know.
Shout out to my fun hating Neighbors
My fellow NOT LEGEND OAKS City slickers had enough of Sir Andrew at month 5. Not sure why it took that long, I was thinking that they would either complain right away, or not at all. In the spirit of full disclosure, I walked my pet sheep around my semi-fancy neighborhood and told people all the time I was shocked it was legal to keep my sheep in my backyard. Well, there are a few rules about this, and my fun hating neighbor only had to figure out one of them.
City of Austin Sheep and Livestock regulation.
You can have 2 livestock animals, not to exceed 200lbs. But the big kicker here, their “enclosure” must be 100 ft from any neighbor’s house,
There are rules for the enclosure but I’m going to skip all that.
Finally, there is a provision that the animal can’t make “an unreasonable amount of noise that would disturb a normal person.” These are obviously fighting words.
Shout out to the local sheep community
Can you Train a Sheep?
Yes, you can train them to sit still, while you present them to the livestock show judge.
Are Sheep Smart?
Smarter than they get credit for, and very stubborn. When it comes to finding the week spot in your enclose they can be clever.
Can you have a Sheep in your backyard in Austin?
You can, 2 of them. If you enclosure is not a disturbance to your neighbors, and 100’ from adjacent properties.
What type of animals can you keep in your backyard in Austin?
Just about any livestock animal, sheep, goats, pigs, hens, turkey’s and rabbits to name a few.
Do sheep poop a lot?
Yes, sheep poop ALOT!