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Author Topic: Foot Stamping?  (Read 6918 times)


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Foot Stamping?
« on: September 23, 2014, 03:04:52 pm »
We have our two new ewe lambs quarantined in a small pen, and whenever I initially approach, one of them walks towards me and stamps her foot.
I've previously associated this with defensive behaviour, e.g. when threatened by a dog or preparing to defend lambs. However that doesn't seem quite right in this case. For one thing she does not appear to be feeling scared or threatened, and she only does this when I initially approach - the rest of the time she just ignores me.
My current guess is it means "where's my breakfast?", but can anybody confirm?

« Last Edit: September 26, 2014, 06:09:29 pm by Womble »
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined May 2014
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2014, 03:32:17 pm »
My thoughts are that because you are new to her she starts with a threat similar to protective ewes with lambs at foot, perhaps her mum did it ? Her next thought is 'oh she's not that bad after all ' hence the more relaxed attitude afterwards. I can't think that it's a problem at all.  :sunshine:

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2014, 03:48:18 pm »
I'm with MM.

She stamps to warn you but thinks that her warning is sufficient and so is then happy to settle down ...... guessing you might then be feeding her then so she's happy with that.

My Soay give a warning stamp to our Flattie but then ignore him and will walk right up to him.  ::) ;D


  • Joined May 2013
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2014, 04:46:01 pm »
yes, id say she is indignant at your approach. id bet her mother was a dominant one and she has learnt this behaviour from her. with fight/flight animals as she is penned and cant run away - she feels she has to fight and stamps her foot.


  • Joined Jul 2014
  • Cornwall
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2014, 05:44:51 pm »
Yep I agree. I have ewe who stamped her foot anytime anything (including hay flying in the wind)  came near her lamb when it was smaller - now her lamb has learnt this behaviour and has stamped her foot me whilst even eating out my hand and having her ears stroked. She seems to be growing out of it.


  • Joined Sep 2012
  • NW Highlands
    • Facebook
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2014, 10:37:47 pm »
ha ha one of my ewes does that if I am getting too close for her liking but I just stamp back bigger and and she turns and walks away
keeper of goats, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, turkeys, dogs, cats, goldfish and children, just don't ask me which is the most work!


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2014, 09:11:41 am »
Mine do that to my dog but its mainly the ewes that do it, not the boys. Murphy smiles sweetly at them and ignores their little 'riverdance' routine - but keeps a healthy distance.
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2014, 11:22:18 am »
It means, "Don't mess with me."  Kind of like puffing yourself up and standing square on with arms a-kimbo.  She'll probably settle down as she learns how nice you are  :-*
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2014, 06:13:02 pm »
Thanks everybody!  You were right, it was definitely a "don't mess with me", but she's stopped doing it now she's settled down and got more used to me. She's actually turning into a right softie, and now comes over for a chin rub!

She still does the stamping thing with new people though, so I think that confirms what it was about.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Cumbria/N Yorks border
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2014, 08:06:13 pm »
A long time ago, when out for a stroll, I sat on the top of Pen-y-Ghent with my half-grown Lab X pup, eating my lunch, sharing bits of it with her as I ate.

Then a Swaledale ewe turned up, obviously used to mugging tourists for their lunch, so I threw her a bit of cake. Pup decided this was sacrilegious and went for the cake.

Ewe stamped her foot. Pup sat down very respectfully and watched while the ewe ate the cake  :D

Treud na Mara

  • Joined Mar 2014
  • East Clyh, Caithness
  • Living the dream in Caithness
Re: Foot Stamping?
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2014, 09:20:12 pm »
We have a couple of Scottish Black Face ewes and the way to tell them apart is that one always stamps as you approach. Her nickname only changed from Stamper to Butter after that behaviour was visited on OH when he took her new born lamb for umbilical cord dipping !  She still stamps though!
With 1 Angora and now 6 pygmy goats, Jacob & Icelandic sheep, chooks, a cat and my very own Duracell bunny aka BH !


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