And the Rest of the Flock

By now you’ve heard a lot about the trials and tribulations of the bottle lambs.  Let me tell you a little bit about how the other nine lambies are doing!

Peggy– Peg’s twin ewes, Bobolink and Veery, are my fattest and happiest little lambs.  Just as in the past, Peg has plenty of milk.  The only question is fleece quality, as Peg’s 2013 ewes had slightly coarser fleeces than I desire.  I think that Earl’s genetics will improve their fleeces.  Best of all, these two girls are friendly, and are my nominees to come to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival with me this year.

Shirley– After treating Shirley with antibiotics and wormers to cover the main possibilities, I bucked up and decided to take Meadowlark away.  She was panicked at first, baaing and crying for her mother.  After a few hours, though, she settled down and gratefully enjoyed a full pint of milk.  Food won in the end.  I could see how she perked up, fattened and energized with more food, and her brother has improved as well now that he has exclusive access to Mom.  I felt a great deal of stress around my decision-making with this situation, but I think I made the best choice available to balance Shirley’s needs and her lambs.

Sheep and Pickle Farm Breeding Stock
Shirley and son…getting better!

Ida – Ida and her son are a hoot and a holler.  Bluejay is bold, sassy, and very, very fat.  He’s just further proof that Peggy’s descendants carry her good mothering and rapid growth traits.

Sheep and Pickle Farm Breeding Stock
Ida and son take it easy.

Bonnie – Bonnie’s twins this year are much like her twins last year-  attractive and growing well, but not necessarily outstanding.  I will be interested in seeing  how their fleeces turn out, as Bonnie’s is not quite my ideal.

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Bonnie and her babies. Statistically speaking, someone has to be average!

Esther– I am a huge fan of Timberdoodle, Esther’s little girl.  Esther doesn’t have as much milk as her sister Ida, but Timberdoodle is well-balanced and so, so cute!   She and her relations share a nice straight back, something that Earl Scruggs clearly brought us as my starter flock had some humps in the chine and Lyndon’s 2013 lambs generally have low shoulders and high bums!  Thanks, Earl!

Sheep and Pickle Farm Breeding Stock
A Family Portrait. Back row L-R: Veery and Peggy. Front Row L-R: Esther, TImberdoodle, Bobolink. And Shirley.

Valentine- There’s only one word for Valentine’s little guy – homely.  He has a baldish pink nose and a scrunchy face.  Not abnormal, but unattractive!  He’s growing just fine, though I notice that he tucks his tummy in sometimes so I question whether he couldn’t use a little more milk as well.  Valentine is Shirley’s daughter, so I will be watching the milk production in that family in the future!  If Peggy ever gives me a ram, I might keep him just to cross onto Shirley  and Co.

Dot – Now that Kestrel is older and more independent, I no longer feel that Dot is fixing to assault me whenever I’m handling the sheep.   Dot is handsome and a fabulous mother to whichever lamb she chooses to raise…wouldn’t it be amazing if she were interested in having more than one!  Kestrel is very slow-growing, like her brother, especially given the huge amount of milk available to each.  I think that Earl and Dot may not be a strong cross.

Sheep and Pickle Farm Breeding Stock
Dot and Kestrel, all snuggly!
Sheep and Pickle Farm Sheep
The whole crew, out to pasture.

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