Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The sheep.

The sheep are my husband's project. He has Targhee and Suffolk ewes and a big 'ole Suffolk ram. He's tried several different breeds, his favorite so far being the Dorper, and will probably end up mixing several breeds to get his desired flock.

Most of the Suffolk ewes have already lambed. Since Suffolk sheep are the big 4H sheep around here, you time their lambing to occur early in the year to make them the right size at the right time for showing. Completely ridiculous, if you ask me, to subvert nature and have babies born in the coldest time of the year to fit a human time scale based on competition.

So the Suffolk babies are bigger babies now and are frolicking around our property. We have goat fence around the pastures, but the babies can get out through the cattle-panel type gates. We don't worry too much about it since we live in the middle of nowhere, I just keep an eye on one of the neighbors who has dogs. These are our renegades. There are now about 15 of these black lambs that run around all day long.

Our Targhee are only just now having their babies, and they're the cutest dang things you'll ever see - at least until my goats start having their babies.

I must have taken this picture at feeding time.

Here is our "left to give birth" group. Ains and I were out walking around the pasture and there were two sheep - the Targhee - that felt that if we got within 100 yards they had to run away. Sheep being sheep, the rest of the ewes (and those three young goats) would follow them at a dead run. All of them pregnant. I tried to stay far enough away and show by my body language that I was no threat, but those two Targhee were determined to be scared. By the third pass, the Suffolk closest to giving birth gave up on them and decided to follow us (and my Tamari goat) instead of running away. By the fourth pass, my goats were all falling in with us instead of the sheep. There was no fifth pass. Apparently even skittish sheep finally accept when their pregnant bodies don't want to run anymore. By the way, on the left hand side of that picture is our ram.

We only have one bum lamb right now, from a group of triplets. It's a Targhee baby and Hannah likes helping feed him.

1 comment:

Christy said...

I love seeing all the sheep. We are really looking forward to getting sheep. I think we are going to go with Shetlands because they are smaller and I'm a small woman who will only have the help of an 8 year old.