Monday, November 19, 2007

Hey, Ewe! Who's yo Daddy?

Yes,'s THAT time of year again! All the promises are over and the hormones are running rampant. About all I do this time of year is stay out of the way and let Skittles do his job. ;-) I had been promising him that he would get twice as many girls this year. The poor guy thought I was tormenting him on purpose, I'm sure. But no, I just wanted lambs coming in the middle to late April next year. Most of our bad weather is over with and fly season hasn't started - perfect weather for being born. That is except if it turns out like last year when we had terrible winds out of the NE and straight into the ewes end of the barn.

Hmmmm...Amanda is trying to figure out what this black, swingy-thing is and why Skittles doesn't want to share it with anyone. I thought I heard her say it really didn't taste like anything she wanted to eat, but would still lick on it if need be. Silly girl! Don't let Skit see you messing with his tire swing, Amanda...he's very possessive of it. You've been warned.

It was about this time I thought I heard Skit say, "Darn it, Amanda! Take off that stupid coaty-thing! It's getting in MY way!" Poor Amanda.

At this time of year, rams who are normally placid, even downright sweet, turn in to demons on four legs with only one thing on their minds. Nothing will stop them in this Seasonal Drive of theirs either - or at least I should mention that you need really good fencing to make sure they stay in an area YOU want them to stay in. Many a shepherd has gone out to check sheep only to find rams not where they were supposed to be. I have known rams to go through electric fencing, welded wire fencing, well...just about any type of fencing in the need to carry out their mission in life. And a shpherd knows not to place his or herself between a ram and his ewes. In the heat of passion that's asking for it. Yup. Cruisin' for a bruisin' unless you're prepared to deal with a protective ram concerned that you're going to take unsettled ewes (non-pregnant ewes).
Now, any time of year you should not turn your back on a ram. But especially now when they have first been put in with their chosen girls one needs a sharp eye and a good shepherd's crook. Maybe even fast feet too! LOL In watching Skittles with his girls these past few days I find myself thinking about how much Mother Nature intended these creatures to succeed as a species in this world. Sheep are suspicious by nature with a great sense of "Fight or Flight" (mostly flight). They are also fast on their feet as many a winded shepherd might experience once or twice in their lives. And with good feed timed right, you can usually get a 200% lamb crop making sheep productive even for small farms. You can wear them, pet them, milk them...and yes, even eat them. No wonder we've been teamed up with sheep for hundreds of years and more.

Yes, I hear you, Skit...grunting and groaning like WhiteFang and Blacktooth talking to Soupy Sales back in the 50s. Just 6 weeks you'll be begging me to put you back in with the boys when you've got 4 pregnant "wives" on your hooves. I'll remind asked for it!


Franna said...

Sounds like you've been reading Sheep and Man, Kathy! Amazing how important sheep have been and still are in much of the world. I'm just into the section on Australia and New Zealand.
- Franna

Kathy L. said...

How'd you guess, Franna?!!! I have put it down to get some other reading done, but I find it absolutely fascinating! I had always known that sheep were domesticated early on and early cattle routes and trading centers eventually became towns like Rome, London, Belfast, etc. But this book is worth the investment IF you like sheep to begin with. I'm glad to know I'm not alone in enjoying it.

shepherdchik said...

I also love that book! I think that sheep and goats are about the only creature with a history that is as closely tied to people. Both are equally fascinating. I have that book by my bed and I love to read in it a while before I go to sleep. The parts about the range wars with cattle ranchers always makes me teary eyed though.

Nancy K. said...

Sounds like I need to buy a book!

Skit looks great Kathy!