Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm getting a lamb!

(left) Here is a picture of Mopple that Vanessa took when he was one day old.

I’m getting a Dorper lamb! Late last spring I contacted Vanessa Murray of Abby’s Acres in Ellington, Missouri, about buying a bottle baby ram lamb to wether and train for agility and driving. However, by then their lambs were pretty well grown, so we made arrangements for me to buy one early next spring.

Yesterday Vanessa emailed saying they’d had a surprise birth (on July 7). Their ¾ Dorper, ¼ Katahdin ewe, Delilah, delivered triplets: two ewes and a ram lamb. I’m getting the ram.

We’re to meet Vanessa at noon on Friday, since Friday is John’s day off. She’s meeting us partway, in Willow Springs.
Today I hauled out all of my bottle baby supplies, then spiffed up the bottle baby crate and set it up in the living room. I can hardly wait!

I’m naming the lamb Mopple after one of my favorite characters in Leonie Swann’s mystery book, Three Bags Full : the food-loving “memory sheep”, Mopple the Whale.

Why don’t I train one of our Miniature Cheviot lambs instead? I need a large hair sheep to drive. Otherwise I’d have to continually shear my driving sheep so his wool didn’t get caught up in the harness. I wanted a Dorper because they’re so big (and handsome!). This lamb is even better than a purebred; he will still be big and brawny but his touch of Katadhin blood has given him a beautifully spotted black and white coat.
By blogging about Mopple's progress, I hope to show how smart and fun sheep can be (people who think they're stupid are sadly mistaken). Then I plan to write a book called Feeling Sheepish, much like the donkey, goat and cattle books I've written or am writing for Storey Publishing. In it I'll demonstrate the cool things small-scale farmers and pet owners can do with sheep, from harvesting handspinner's fleece to milking them to training one to pull a cart.
So please stop by often to check out my photos and catch up on Mopple's progress (and read the other things I post about sheep); I plan to post at least two or three times a week.


  1. I Love Mopple Already! I can't wait to read about him as he grows and learns — I am sure you will have some fun and funny experiences with him. Thanks for sending the link.

  2. Sue, he is just as cute as a button! What beautiful markings and coloring! I look forward to following his progress.

  3. Mehhhh!!! So cute. I love the name too but I hope your Mopple does not become as gluttonous as Mopple in the book. Good luck, Sue!