Monday, May 10, 2010

Meet "Socks", the Border Leicester ram

This post is all about sheep today and dog puke. Prepare thyself accordingly.

I would like to introduce you to my Mother's Day gift to me..."Socks!" No, not a new pair of socks but they are looming in my future! Took a trip across the valley yesterday to Starshire Ranch and picked up this lovely little guy. He's about 2-1/2 months old. He has a twin brother who is equally as cute but had a teensy bit of black on his face and I have a thing about having my flock of all-white sheep, not for any silly prejudicial reason but for common sheep-sense reasons...can't sell meat lambs to Superior Packing with black fleeces. Marks on the face are okay but I like to avoid any possibility of black whenever possible due to that.

So, Socks came alone to the farm and as you know, sheep are not alone kind of critters. They must have companionship to eliminate stress and help them adjust. But, we have a pretty strict health policy around here of a 3-week quarantine time for new sheep on the farm away from our flock. So, we grabbed "Rosebud", a yearling ewe that because of being a bottle lamb is very tame and was easy to catch. Threw her in with Socks and she was not a happy critter! She thinks boys have cooties (I can't say I disagree some days) and his pestering did not help. He's already showing signs of his future job around here...surprised me! DH said...won't THAT be interesting to have fall lambs. Not! I am sure Socks is free of any sheep diseases and in 3 weeks will be put out with the ewes (along with Rosebud) and lambs until we wean in June and then he will go in with the ram lambs. The older rams are WAY too big and ornery for this cute baby. In fact, since being out on pasture they have ballooned into gargantuan rams. My goodness. 

In case you're wondering, I have broken down and bought some sheep coats and begun the process of coating our Coopworth and now BL sheep. Makes cleaning them up for processing a breeze and their value more as well. It's a pain in the brain as the coats have to be changed as their wool grows but hopefully it's going to be worth it. I HATE skirting fleeces! It's boring, back breaking and tedious and BORING. I have a very short attention span for this sort of work. I'd rather be dyeing, spinning, carding, anything but skirting.

Anyhoooo, Socks is going to be bred to all of our old Coopworth ewes this fall in hopes that we will get a nice bunch of BL/Coop replacement ewes next spring. Coops are a breed developed from BL/Romney breeds so this cross is going to be hard to tell from a purebred BL. With our scrapie certification status, it's difficult to find other pure Coopworth ewes to buy. It's nice being certified but it's a pain for bringing in new bloodlines. Hard to always rely on rams to do that for us. Also, BL have wool that is very very nice for sock yarn....can't wait for his first shearing next year and the babies to come!

And now folks, I promised you I would write about dog vomit and I will not let you down. I must go and clean up the dog barf that Daisy just deposited on 2 rugs and put the comforter in the dryer that she proceeded to urp on earlier! This happens always after the farrier visits...because she insists on over-indulging on hoof pieces. Life on the farm....and dogs in the house. On that happy and distasteful I go!

Happy trails. 

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