August 17th, 2008

Farm

Poor sheep

Something killed two of our sheep the other day.  We lost our lamb ewe and our adult ram, Ramlet.  I'm really sad about the latter, he was the friendliest animal I'd ever seen.  He would always come up to me and beg for attention.  He loved being scritched on the top of his head.  If you ignored him, he'd tug on your pants leg or nudge you with his hoof.  He's going to be missed.

We lost an adult ewe in the spring (we're not sure why, but there was always something not quite right with her), so we're down to just two sheep left, an elderly ewe and an adolescent ram.  She's nearing the end of her breeding life, and he won't be old enough to breed for another year, so it looks like this flock is going to die out.


These sheep are a rare breed called Babydoll Southdowns.  They're very small and exceptionally cute, like living teddy bears.    Babydoll Southdowns are generally kept as pets, not as meat or wool animals (though they do produce very fine wool and supposedly have flavorful meat, if you could ever bring yourself to kill and eat something that cute).  They weigh about 70-100 pounds and are only 1-1/2 to 2 feet tall, smaller than many breeds of dog. They're fairly low maintanence, live for 15-16 years, are remarkably curious and intelligent, can be trained to walk on a leash, their pellets are tiny and inoffensive (like rabbit pellets) and their odor is not unpleasant (like fresh cut grass).  They do require constant companionship, however; a lone sheep is an unhappy sheep.