Saturday, May 12, 2007

Class of 2007

Each year brings a new set of lambs. Sometimes, I feel like a school teacher who gets a new class of students each year. Like a teacher, I watch the lambs grow and play and develop into healthy, productive individuals. There are always several lambs that stand out due to their performance, appearance, and/or personalities.

Annie (white lamb below) is my favorite. It's hard not to fall in love with a bottle lamb. They bond to you as if you are their mother, which essentially you are. Annie was a twin born to a 2-year old black ewe, who decided she didn't like her white baby. Annie's sister (I dubbed her "Sis") is also very friendly. She never abandoned her sister. I may have a hard time parting with Annie. Hopefully, I'll find her a good home. Or maybe I'll keep her (?) I don't have to decide yet.

Annie and her sisterEars stands out on all counts. His big ears have set him apart since his birth. While he is slowly growing into them, his ears are still quite large compared to other lambs. His twin sister has big ears, but nothing compared to his. Ears is one of the nicest-looking, fastest growing lambs in the flock. He'll make an excellent breeding ram. He's also one of the friendliest lambs in the flock. Whenever I'm out in the pasture, he finds me. As a male, he's very frisky and rambunctious. He's never afraid of me or McComb, my guardian dog.

EarsSundance is another outstanding ram lamb. He, too, is one of the nicest-looking, fastest growing lambs in the flock. I have no doubt he will be sold as a stud ram. He is also very friendly, in a gentle way. His twin brother (Butch, of course) is much more aloof. Sundance's ears are big and droopy like his mom's. His mom is the biggest ewe in the flock. Butch and Sundance are going to be big boys.

Lakisha (named for this year's American Idol contestant) has always known that she is special. She always holds her head high and alert, expecting you to notice her. She's one of four black ewe lambs in the flock, but is the tallest and prettiest. She's all black with one white foot (left rear). Her mom is just a yearling, but as a single lamb, Lakisha is growing quite well. She's a keeper.

My niece named Scarlet. Scarlet gets the prize for being the sweetest, friendliest lamb in the flock (not counting Annie). She has a light brown tinge to her coat. She is blocky and woolier/hairier than most of the lambs. She's somewhat of a fuzzball. Scarlet comes out of a good young mother and maternal line, so there's a good chance I will add her to the flock.

Scrappie Doo
is the "scrappiest" lamb in the flock, hence her name. She was a triplet born to a 7 year old ewe that always has triplets. I think her mom decided she only had enough milk for two lambs and abandoned her smallest lamb. I seldom, if ever, saw Scrappie Doo nurse her mother. I must have offered Scrappie Doo a bottle at least a dozen times, but she stubbornly refused each time. Instead, she stole milk where and when she could. Specifically, she latched herself onto my original black ewe, #22, who lets anyone nurse, but is raising her own set of triplets.

For the longest time, Scrappie Doo looked pitiful and scrawnie. She stood all hunched up. But now she is filling out and should eventually catch up with the other ewe lambs. I think she will make a nice breeding ewe because she has strong genes for prolificacy and is a fighter. She's even starting to trust me a bit.

Scrappie DooI could never forget Hondo. Hondo is another triplet, born to a 2 year old ewe. He was born smaller than his brothers, so I offered him some extra milk. He liked it, so I fed him a bottle for six weeks, while he still nursed his mother. A double-dipper, he's growing quite well. Since he was a bottle lamb, he is very friendly and curious. I made him a wether, hoping I'll be able to sell him as a grazer or "dog sheep" (for training herding dogs).


I don't name all my sheep or lambs. But each year, I label the special ones. Some of the ones that earn names I keep; some I sell.

1 comment:

ptogel said...

Your lambs are just great. Great pictures.

Sheep by Conni Togel