Thursday, June 23, 2011

We're Baa-ack!

It's been well over a year since I posted an entry to Mopple's blog. Mostly because I stopped working with him but I plan to start again, so here we are.

Sheep (and goats), you see, are wired to follow, not lead, so it's hard for them to understand walking in front of a person as in driving. It takes an intelligent pupil to pull that off . And, while Mopple is possibly world's sweetest sheep, he's not the brightest bulb in the pack, so I don't think he'll make a driving sheep. Our new goal is for him to pull the wagon while I walk along at his side.

I might also begin working with one of my woolly wethers. One, a 3-year-old black Classic/Miniature Cheviot wether called Baart, is an in-your-pocket sheep and unusually bold and smart, so although he isn't very big, he's a logical choice.

Stay tuned!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Meet Fosco (he's brand new)

Shebaa lambed this morning and the trick’s on us. Instead of giving birth to her usual set of lovely twins, she presented me (after a long delivery at that) with one jumbo-size white ram lamb (that's him above, thinking, "Is that what I'm looking for?"). He’s very nice and his mama loves him dearly but I had my heart set on a ewe lamb to keep for my flock. Oh well.

The new guy delivered hind feet first and is so huge that he got stuck, so I had to assist by gently pulling him.

He’s a little slow (his umbilical was compressed against his mom’s pelvis during birth) but he’ll grow out of it. I named him Fosco after the Guinness-drinking ram who won the Smartest Sheep in Glennkill contest in Leonie Swann's charming mystery book starring sheep, Three Bags Full. It'll give him something to aspire to.

John suggested that if we don’t sell him as a lamb we might keep him since he’s out of one of my best producers, has unique grey markings on his legs, and I don’t have a white ram of my own. We'll see.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

(Getting back to) Taking care of business.

I’m back to blogging after a long hiatus. I’ve been awfully busy this winter and the old ones’ deaths took the wind out of my sails. Today would have been Baasha’s 14th birthday. I really miss that sweet old girl.

However, yesterday I put Mopple on a lead and discovered he’s forgotten quite a bit since last fall, so now I’m chomping at the bit to get him back on track. I find he’s doing better wearing a halter than a collar and fortunately the alpaca halter I keep for my Classic/Miniature Cheviots fits him to a tee.

On the sheepy front, two of my ewes are fit to burst with lambs. I expect the older ewe, Shebaa (Wolf Moon Findabar; pictured near the top of this entry), to lamb within 24 hours because she’s all hollowed out and her udder is fairly bursting.

The other ewe, Wren (Wolf Moon Wren, pictured in profile) is due on the 10th. Both are bred to Maxx (Wolf Moon Fin Bheara), our young, spotted ram. The lambs will be his first offspring, so I’m really looking forward to their arrival. They are 3/4 sisters, both out of old Rebaa (Coats' High Ridge Farm's Rosy Lolita), so they are Baasha's grand-daughters. Maxx's mom is Wolf Moon Baatiste, so Baasha is his maternal grand-dam too.

Let there be lambs!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Last Farewell

I’ve blogged about this at Inside Storey and (as Martok) at Mondays With Martok (, but I have to tell it one more time. On Wednesday, January 20, 2010, Baasha and Dodger departed together for sheep heaven.

We knew Baasha’s time was near but Dodger went down very quickly and unexpectedly, so having him put down came as a shock. I miss them both dreadfully but Dodger couldn’t get up by himself any longer and Baasha was so painfully crippled by arthritis.

I invite you to visit Baasha’s memorial page at my Dreamgoat Annie Web site ( I’ll put up a similar page for Dodger (pictured at the left) but have to retrieve more photos from my dinosaur Mac before I can make one and my trusty old Mac isn’t set up right now.

Good-bye old friends—you are sorely missed.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Baamadeus' turn at bat

We trimmed the rams' hooves today and then left them in the yard for the morning. When they congregated by the main sheep fold, it quickly became obvious that Baannie is in heat. After the guys went in and the ewes came out, she hung out by New Ramsgate, so I decided to breed her to Baama.

Baama is Wolf Moon Baamadeus, my youngest and yet-unproven ram. He is Baasha’s love lambie conceived by her son, Rumbler, through the fence, and what a fortuitous whoops! lamb he is. He’s of moderate height but built like a bull, low and massive, with a strongly arched profile, huge eyes and teensy ears. When he was about 10 days old, something injured his right ear and it filled with fluid that resisted draining. It eventually deflated but left him with a cauliflower ear that gives him a roguish air.

Baannie (Wolf Moon Macha) is one of my oldest and best-producing ewes and also a Baasha daughter, so we’ll be inbreeding to Baasha with this mating. We’ve done this before (we’re setting type for the Classic Cheviot breed) but not this close, so it should be an interesting breeding—hopefully resulting in ewe lambs I can keep, as I’ve sold all of Baannie’s daughters and regretted it!

So now they are in the breeding pen. She coos and wiggles her tail and he sniffs and grunts, making noises (I swear) like Tim the Tool Man. Since all the other rams leap on and breed the ewes about 500 times the first hour, I am wondering about the boy. He is slow. He did jump her several times while I watched them, so if his aim is good, we’re in free and looking at mid-June lambs.