Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Mopple update

Mopple enjoyed yesterday’s outing immensely. The other sheep and some of the goats watched him zoom around the yard in amazement.
The white sheep watching Mopple play is Louie (Wolf Moon Louie), my two year old former bottle baby and the last bottle lamb I raised before Mopple. He’s an unusually smart and biddable wether and would make a neat agility and trick sheep (and after Mopple, I may attempt to train him as such) but is too small for carting. He’s a Miniature/Classic Cheviot and stands about 20.5” at the shoulder.

Today we drove to Thayer (MO) to the nearest Wal-Mart to buy a small dog collar for Mopple so I can start clicker training him to lead. They were not only out of small dog collars but didn’t have cat collars in stock either. John is going to pick up something at the larger Wal-Mart in Ash Flat (AR) tomorrow on his way to work.

Mopple is growing so quickly! Vanessa weighed him at seven pounds when he was one day old; I just weighed him at 13.8 pounds, so he’s almost doubled in weight. He’s definitely an eager eater and has begun nibbling plants when I have him outdoors. I have a hunch he’s going to be a big boy!

I’ll be writing an assigned article about hair sheep for Hobby Farms this coming year, so have been reading about them and printing out research material. Based on what I’m learning and factoring in how next to impossible it is to find shearers in many parts of the country nowadays (ours included), it’s hard to understand why anyone raising meat sheep doesn’t switch. We’re seeing more flocks of Dorpers and Katahdins in the Ozarks all the time and it looks as though quite a few goat ranchers in this region are switching to hair sheep as well.

More about Mopple as soon as he gets his collar. I still have my big Boer wethers’ baby collars around here somewhere but darned if I can find them!

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