Yesterday I wrote about fences. Today, I’m going to talk about the sheep we’re keeping in those fences. Several months ago, we bought three sheep. A ram and two pregnant ewes. One of the ewes had a ram and the other had twin rams, one of which died of cold within the first day. We ended up with too many rams and two ewes that are fairly old.
We needed more ewes, so we went and bought some. That was last week, and it has been an ongoing experience. First, let me introduce you to the sheep.
From right to left we have Conduit (Dewey), Capacitor (Cap), Socket and Breaker. It looks like Breaker needs to be shorn, but the others look fine. These are Shetland sheep that tend to have nice wool. We’ll see if I can do a sufficiently good job sheering them so that we can do something with the wool. I also got a pair of hand sheers so I’m ready to go…. As soon as I can catch her.
The new ewes are getting along well. They eat a much larger variety of vegetation than the other sheep. That is great for controlling blackberries, but not so good for our fruit trees. Just tonight we had to add fortification to our tree protectors. We may even have a ways to go.
Ram is especially interested in the new ewes. It’s not the right time of year for anything to happen, but Ram is excited. He follows the new ladies around and curls his upper lip and flicks his tongue in and out. The ladies aren’t impressed, they just avoid him. I don’t blame them. He reminds me of a guy in a bar with his shirt only half buttoned and his hairy chest being shown off. You know, the guy who women reject, but he never quite gets the not-so-subtle hint. Oh, and I have a picture.
I like how the new ladies are showing off their herding abilities. Notice how they are all facing the inside of a little circle. They are protecting their necks from potential predators. Unfortunately, their predator (Ram) is quite content with the rear end. My ladies need to learn to flock with the rear-ends toward the middle.
I find it completely fascinating to see the two groups of sheep (old and new) spending time together. After several days, they are still two distinct herds that don’t really spend time together. Sure, they’re in the same pen, but they remain completely segregated almost all the time. When they do interact, I have caught the new ladies pushing my ram lambs around the pen. It’s really entertaining.
And here’s a photo of my up-and-coming ram lamb, Zap. He’s cute and will eventually replace Ram.