May I introduce you to my first lamb that has lived here with our guardian pup, Clover...this is Sugaree. And I am smitten with her!
On a beautiful early September day, my oldest son and I drove to a farm far away only to discover that the internet has a way of making things slightly more embellished, for lack of a better word. As soon as we arrived, I realized that internet looks can be decieving. What began as a wonderful first field trip for my son's grade 3 school year turned into a big lesson on purchasing animals sight unseen. However, much to my boy's urging, we rescued Sugaree from this place and brought her home...along with about a million little sheep lice! And let me tell you, I have learned that sheep lice are annoying, creepy-crawly, and tenacious! We have tried various ways to rid her of the lice and they persisted for so long. It was a sad day when a friend came over to shear her very new virgin merino wool locks off so I could treat her with some diatomaceous earth...which didn't work. Finally, the last of the critters is gone, though she is still in quarantine until Tuesday when she is finally free to roam with her newly arrived sheep friends...
from back to front, ths is Posey, Flora, and Luna
The other three sheep came from two different farms on the coast, and these lovely (and healthy!) sheep come from breeders that adore them and who also have impeccable reputations. It shows...these animals are so beautiful and well cared for...the two white sheep were coated until they arrived at our farm.
Flora and Posey are pure Dembouillet merinos, 6 months old. I am surprised at how huge they are, and powerful. Luna is a 2 year old Shetland ewe and the "leader" of the flock. All of the sheep are super friendly and approachable, and have shown a lot of interest in poor little Sugaree, who is a Rambouillet merino crossed with Cotswold/Romney.
Letting them out on the pasture I worked so hard to grow for them is such a pleasure. My husband, who is surprised at how much he enjoys having the sheep (he claims it was my thing all along, which is true), mentioned how relaxing it is to lean on the fence and spend some time watching the girls peacefully grazing away in the late autumn sunshine.
I let them out of the barn in the morning and they easily come right back in at dinnertime, especially if Clover the dog is distracted by one of the kids. They are still a little nervous around her, but I'm trusting it will mellow out with time. And when we let Sugaree out this week, the three girls will see how bonded she is to Clover, who was her only companion for a whole month. She follows Clover around, who protects the sheep so very well.
Did I mention how huge the merinos are?!!!
All done for the day and ready to return to the barn.
There is so much for me to learn about being a shepherd and the learning curve has been a steep one so far. But the trust these gentle creatures have for all of us is so encouraging. A life-long dream has come true ~ my first flock of fibre sheep are here...and I'm dreaming of their fleeces in the spring!