This is Olive's boy. He's still waiting for his "Downton Abbey"
name. I'm thinking it might be Mr. Bates
. He has a kind face, don't you think? He's been acting as the ram of the year for a few select ewes. That red stain on his chest is from the marking harness he was wearing to help me determine when the 2013 lambs will be due. The harness holds a wax crayon that marks the rump of the ewe as he mounts her. I mark the date on the calendar and count forward 145 days
. That becomes the date to watch for new lambs. It appears he's done his job, so I pulled him out over the weekend and he's awaiting his appointment for "tutoring". He's a lovely boy with a sweet temperament and a gorgeous fleece and I don't want to keep him around here as the solitary ram. Sheep are flocking animals and they don't like to being alone. We'll castrate him soon and after a brief period of recuperation and time for the testosterone to get out of his system, he can go in with the little girls. He's still a growing boy and needs to be getting some grain every day, as they are.
|(I have high hopes that Mr. Bates will pass this fleece along to his babies.)|
Speaking of little girls, I've finally remembered that I hinted at a near disasterous event that happened here at the farm while we were gone to Vermont in September. It was Marilla .... my funny little bottle baby. We'd only been away for a few days when I got a text from the farm sitter, saying one of the ewe lambs was not eating normally. The next text was that she was having convulsions. By that point, I had decided I was not supposed to ever leave the farm again because it seemed to invite tragedy. Long story short, we called Mike Griffitt (the closest veterinarian who still does farm calls) and he came out to look at her. (Because my husband Mike is a veterinarian, we don't really have another vet who sees our animals and we were so grateful that he was willing to come out.) She was unable to stand or walk and he couldn't figure out what the problem was but decided to try treating her with vitamins/minerals and a strong antibiotic. I stayed up most of the night researching and while we never found anything conclusive, we decided to put her on a modified treatment for meningeal worm
. It is fairly uncommon in sheep in our area, but we have plenty of deer visiting our pastures and it can be a problem with the alpacas. Honestly, we felt we were probably not going to be able to save her and the treatment regime was a last resort. Amazingly, she showed a little improvement every day after that. Thanks to diligence on the part of Sue, our farm sitter, Marilla was able to stand and even walk around a little by the time we returned home. We still don't know what her mystery illness was. It took her several weeks to return to "normal" (or as normal as she can be), but now you'd never know she'd been close to death. She's my miracle baby and more spoiled than ever.
|(That's little Marilla all the way to the left)|
He looks like Mr. Bates!ReplyDelete
That's one gorgeous fleece! Good name.ReplyDelete
Love the name, but surprised you are going to cut him after only one season. Don't you keep any fiber wethers he can bunk with? (if only I had a farm)ReplyDelete
Love that pretty boy and what an amazing story about Marilla!ReplyDelete
Wow. I love both his face and his fleece. I'm so glad she made it, that had to be frustrating.ReplyDelete
What a fleece is right - what breed is he?ReplyDelete
That's a beautiful fleece and his front end looks like he's well built. Kind of a shame to castrate him..... Couldn't he live with some other wethers until the girls are done cycling?ReplyDelete
I like his name! So long as no one thinks you mean Norman Bates!
Benita-He's my special "combo" breeding. His mother was a Romney/CVM crossbred and his father was a Wensleydale. That fleece is the one I've been working toward. It's soft, has unbelievable luster and crimp and there's a substantial amount of it. I can hardly wait til shearing time!ReplyDelete
Mr. Bates is so handsome! :) We're excited to see what kind of lambs you'll have. We're also excited to see what kind of lambs we'll have! Barnaby is going to make a fine papa. :)ReplyDelete
Oh my! What a beautiful coat Mr. Bates has!!! I'm so glad to read to the end of the post that Marilla made it. Great to have a vet who can think out of the box to cure a mystery illness.ReplyDelete