Monthly Archives: July 2012
My other new additions come in lamb size — when I went up to The Black Sheep Gathering I rendezvoused with a few people and did some hand-offs. Unfortunately for me, my new favorite little addition is Lester. Why? I’m not exactly sure, except that he is cute and very laid back. Somebody mentioned to me that the only reason I thought he was cute was because he is different.
Otherwise he’d be just another white sheep. Which is true, but I still love him anyway. I also find myself breaking that rule of mine that I’ve had for a long time — “No fraternizing with rams.”
Do you blame me though? I’ve kept him and his friends that came home from the BSG with him in the chicken run so they tame down nicely. I’ve halter broke them all too, well, enough to get by. But they’re all very tame, some a bit more than others, and Lester is at the top of the Tame Chain. Lester is mostly Border Leicester with a dash of Navajo-Churro and a dab of Jacob as well. So Heinz 57 fits him pretty well and I bought him for breeding. Yep, GASP! His ultimate career will be living his life in a pasture full of Jacob ewes (year round) and producing cross-bred lambs that we can market for meat. The Jacob meat is absolutely out of this world (even if you “don’t like lamb” — I bet I could trick you in to eating Jacob.) but their carcasses are pretty small. Lester here is going to add size and substance along with a little quicker growth. Being mostly Border Leicester, he should get to a hefty weight — full bred rams weigh in at 310-390 lbs!! Please, Lester, not THAT big. Okay?
“Huh? Were you talking to me? Sorry, couldn’t hear you over my chewing.”
Lester’s best friend and partner in grain-bowl-crime is Lissie, a little Jacob ewe that he grew up with. They both came from bide a wee farm up in Newberg, Oregon. Lissie is a cute little ewe lamb with LOTS of personality. She’s the second to tamest in the bunch, has a lovely long crimpy fleece, and some bloodlines I was after (Huntsberger, for those of you that know.)
She is by Sweetgrass Tobin and out of bide a wee Fiona (if you’ve got the time, go check out her lamb photo on bide a wee’s website, it is absolutely adorable.) Lissie is a fun little gal, one I’m very happy to have.
Next in line on the tame-scale is Windy Acres Mattilda (Unzicker Ivan 2 x Windy Acres Magpie). She isn’t super friendly, but you can catch her fairly easily and she loves food enough that she’ll march right up to you and not bolt away. Mattilda has a lovely structure, nice length and pretty horns. Her lateral horns go straight out to the sides (one is being hidden by her ear) and I’m hoping she’ll look just like her mama, Windy Acres Magpie. Mattilda is a triplet too and both her siblings are still available on the Windy Acres website. Go to the web address, then on to “Farms” and look up Windy Acres’ page.
Next up is Kenleigh’s Daedal (two horned) and Jaunty (four horned) – both are sired by Windy Acres MacCallum. Daedal is the friendlier of the two and though both like food, they do watch me like a hawk. I can certainly sneak up from behind while they’re stuffing their faces but they’re more watchful than the others. Daedal has a certain presence about her that I really like as well, a bit of curiosity and inquisitiveness. She’s a really cute lamb. Both are lovely in the fleece department and both have bloodlines I was after (their sire is one of the most impressive Jacob rams I’ve ever seen in person definitely, and in photos, at the very top.) Daedal is out of Puddleduck Cleora and Jaunty is out of a lilac ewe named Dandy’s Hope. Jaunty carries the lilac gene so I’ll be able to have MacCallum related lilacs when I breed her to a lilac ram.
A fun group of lambs, that’s for sure. I love going out and sitting with them all at feeding time. And of course, catching them so I can give them hugs.
I’ve brought home some new sheep this summer, to add new bloodlines and traits that I’d like to see in my flock. I gave up a little in the fleece department on a few ewes but I know I have rams that can correct that quite easily. I selected the three ewes for their horns and their structure, and of course, new bloodlines. Unfortunately, I don’t exactly know what their real pedigrees are but that doesn’t bother me much as I started with a flock of “unknowns.” They’ll register, that much I know, and they’ll be the start of something new.
This is Gardenia, she brings nice wide lateral horns and height and length.
This is Aspen, she brings nice structure and substance along with pretty horns. She is my favorite of the three, a very pretty ewe to look at.
This is Ponderosa, she is obviously lacking in the lateral horn structure but I believe the genetics are there. It is quite apparent that her horns have been broken before causing a lack in length and one has been laid down in an unatural way close to her head. She has great structure, is tall, and has nice depth. All three girls are calm, cool, and collected — I’ve dubbed them the “cool club.” They go everywhere together at a slow pace as if they are too cool to be in a hurry. I love the different personalities of the sheep, and people say they’re “just sheep.” Not so.
This little gal is a lamb that I got from Robin at Meridian Jacobs in Vacaville, California. We did a trade, this gal (still unnamed) for Mud Ranch’s Foxglove – a two horned lilac ewe lamb. I’m really enjoying this ewe lamb. She has a nice presence, a pretty, crimpy fleece and her horns are coming in nicely.
There’s more to come, one of which is a ram lamb — but not a ram you’d expect to see here. More on that later. 🙂