The trickiest parts of flock management come at both ends of life. Today we moved this year’s ewe lambs we retained back in with their mothers to graze a fall pasture loaded with delectable weeds and grass. They have made it through the hazards of lambhood – the chilly spring nights, summer parasite dangers, and weaning. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to see what stout, energetic, adorable little teddy bears they have become.
At the other end of of the spectrum, we have four aged ewes born in 2010, the year before we took over management of the flock. They have given us lambs every year since they were two, except Wooly, who had her last lamb at age eight. They are special to us – our oldest daughter named them when she was in first grade, and their personalities are distinct. Most cantankerous of all is Dora – she stomps at me if she has new lambs and thinks I’m invading her personal space, but she is also the greediest if I have a bucket or a handful of grain. Not exactly a beauty (above) since tearing her lower lip as a yearling, she now has a skinny/bony look besides, and today I was sad to see that her walk has become more of a hobble. It’s tough to think about letting any of our grannies go, but we won’t let them suffer if their quality of life declines.
We still have a few 2020 wether lambs available. They make great pets or fiber animals.