Monday, February 23, 2009

My Sheep of Colour

For the most part, I raise white sheep. We do have several colourful ladies, though, and I use them as "marker" sheep. When the sheep are in for the night, I check my ladies of colour to see if they are all in. If so, good chance everyone is in. Back in the day, the folks who lived where I'm living now ran about 1000 ewes. They would put a bell on every 25th ewe. Then when they'd come home at night, the shepherds would just have to count the jingles. Smart eh? Also, a flock being chased by a predator made quite a racket - alerting the shepherds and maybe scaring away the predator. Anyway, here's a photo shoot of my colourful ladies....

Jem - she is such a character - she loves to dance and jump.

Remember this girl - she was born this summer. Baby pic:

This a 2 yr old - she was a triplet. She has interesting genetics. Her name is BES (Black Eyed Susan)

Teehee - not true colour, but it IS melting here. I'd like to know the story behind this muddy girl.Here's one of the last lambs born from last season. Her mother was my most disliked ewe! She was a fence crawler and she was SMART. It's dangerous having a smart ewe, let me tell ya. She's since gone down the road, but I'm giving this little one a chance. She may have been too small to have 'caught' this year, but we'll see.

Lizzie. Bes' sister. She looks like a Tunis, eh? Nope - Suffolk/Romanov/Merino. Crazy, I know, but she is such a good little mother. Good mothers are all it takes to be keepers. As long as they're not too smart, lol. How sad is that?
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Jayne said...

What beautiful faces!

Val said...

What lovely ladies. And a charming name for Black Eyed Susan!

Deborah said...

It is funny you don't like smart girls.

Heather said...

Oh, no, I LOVE smart girls! Just not smart sheep! :o)

Cheryl said...

Smart sheep can indeed wreck havoc in the flock along the lines of simply avoiding the shepherd(ess) leading. Reminds me of someone I know...(me) Help me Lord! Great pics, Heather! ~ Cheryl

Pam said...

This is such a great post. I wonder how the other sheep reacted to the marker sheep with the bells. Last year, I decided to coat my sheep. When I went to put the coats on, I realized that very few of them fit so I unwisely thought, I'll leave the coats on the few who fit them. What a mistake. If you're going to coat, coat them all. Pandemonium broke out in the barn and paddock. No one would go near the few coated sheep. At first it was kind of funny as they were leaping to get out of the way of the "coated ones." I finally realized that someone was going to break a leg or worse, so the coats came off until they could all be coated.
We shepherds are quite silly about our sheep, bonding to some more than others because of their looks. I've always been attracted the look of the primitive fleeced sheep in the field rather than the newer commercial breeds, although what to do with their fleeces? Letty Klein, author of "The Shepherd's Rug," told me once how when she first saw some Karakul sheep at the Michigan Fibre Festival, it was love at first site and she knew this was the breed that she wanted to raise. "Love at first site."