Sheep

May 7, 2013 - The Kneeling Sheep

My new Tunis sheep do something I’ve never seen sheep do before, and I’ve had sheep for several years now. They kneel and pray. I’m just kidding! I think! I think they are just kneeling to eat, but I haven’t known them very long and we haven’t discussed religion yet. Sometimes they just plop right...
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April 23, 2013 - Bringing Back Sheep

Yesterday was a sweet spring day. Perfect for a beautiful drive on narrow, winding dirt roads past tumbled fence posts, redbuds blooming everywhere, the fresh green haze of new leaves in the trees, all bursting under a bright sunshine sky. Old barns…. ….and turkeys in the road. A perfect day to pick up sheep! I...
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March 21, 2013 - Speaking of Woolly Sheep Behinds

Usually by about now, I’d be having my sheep sheared. It’s high time! Well, it’s still a bit chilly, but it’s spring and the sheep need their coats off. However! The Spring Wool & Writing Retreat is coming up May 2 – May 6, and I’m saving the shearing for the workshop. Here’s the description...
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February 7, 2013 - Dog Gives Birth to Goat

Nutmeg, Fanta, and Sprite have all been due to deliver any time now, so yesterday afternoon when I thought I heard a tiny cry from the direction of the goat house, I walked out enough to take a better look, see if I could find my mamas. Yep, there they were, all happily munching hay....
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February 6, 2013 - There’s a Lamb in My House

Yesterday, I went to Woolweaver Farms in nearby Gandeeville. I met Joe last fall at a Women in Agriculture event in Spencer and he told me about his Tunis sheep then. Tunis sheep (also known as Tunisian Barbary) are an ancient breed–-they are the “fat-tailed sheep” of the Bible. They have cream-colored wool with cinnamon-red...
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February 5, 2013 - Incoming

Photo courtesy Joe Woolweaver. I’m getting a bottle lamb this afternoon! This little ram lamb is one of a set of twins and he has been rejected by his mother. He is a Tunis lamb. I’m hoping to also get a couple of ewe lambs–births are ongoing–but for now, I’m getting this little guy because...
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October 15, 2012 - The New Ewe

Once upon a time, a teenage girl got two sheep for her 4-H livestock project. One sheep grew faster than the other sheep and became the chosen one. And so that fat little ewe went to show at the livestock barn and on to auction while the other little ewe stayed at home, all a-lonely....
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August 12, 2012 - Starting Over with Sheep

Since the incident, I’ve spent a lot of time considering my future in sheep. I’ve had sheep for several years now and know the ups and downs. At one point, lambs and all, we had a high of a dozen sheep at Stringtown Rising. We didn’t have enough pasture for that many (or hardly any)...
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July 17, 2012 - Awful Discovery

Yesterday morning, I spotted clumps of wool in the sheep field. That’s not good. As I got closer, I knew exactly whose wool it was, too. Minnie Belle’s. (With her half-Cotswold blood, her wool is markedly different from Annabelle’s, even though they are both white sheep.) Something was wrong. Very wrong. The sheep were sheared...
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May 22, 2012 - Second Place Ribbon

View from my back porch: When did I get a black dog???? OH. Luckily, when sheep escape, they don’t really go anywhere. They just hang around the perimeter, waiting for you to bring them some delicious feed, at which point they will nearly climb all over you as you lead them back into the field....
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January 25, 2012 - Head of the Class

Every morning starts with heading to the barn to throw down some hay for the sheep and goats. Annabelle’s always right on me. Good morning, Annabelle. She wants some lovin’. And a good scratch. MinnieBelle isn’t quite as friendly, but she’s not unfriendly, either. Mama likes me, and babies take their cues accordingly. She’s got...
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August 23, 2011 - Farm Under Construction

When I started this farm, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do here. Sometimes people ask me about planning a farm. I’m the wrong person to ask. I tend to be impulsive, operating on whims. Feelings. Cuteness and fluffiness. That doesn’t make a very good farm plan, but it’s not a bad one, either....
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June 20, 2011 - Annabelle Has a Puppy!

If this thing was any more adorable, it would probably be illegal. Annabelle showed up with this lil pup a week ago. I didn’t say anything for several days because 1) I was in the middle of an ongoing BP story that was taking up a lot of Barn page space, and 2) it’s a...
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May 14, 2011 - Wranglin’ Time

We’ve been busy on the farm the past few days, doing things that needed done and catching up on a few things where we were behind. Such as sheep shearing. Those poor sheep were still wearing their winter coats and it suddenly got hot here. The donkeys’ hooves needed trimming, too. It was time for...
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March 3, 2011 - Cast of Sheep

There is nothing in this world sweeter than a bottle lamb. It was almost exactly two years ago that we brought our dear little Annabelle home. We kept her on the porch with the dogs and I fed her with a bottle. Then she actually started thinking she was a dog, which was awesome. Except...
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February 16, 2011 - New Life

What is that I spy peeking forth from the woolly side of Miss Jacob? Why, it is a new baby lamb!!! And, in fact, there are– —two new baby lambs!!! We don’t know what (boy/girl) they are yet. They haven’t been investigated yet. They’re black now, but based on experience, I’d say they’ll turn brown....
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September 5, 2010 - Corralling Sheep

So, because it’s tiresome to always be the dumbest farmers on the block, today we (royal we) built a corral. This means we don’t have to get Frank to wrangle sheep quite so much. Though Frank likes to wrangle sheep and he doesn’t mind. We wanted to give some wormer to the sheep. We’re using...
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August 21, 2010 - Once Upon A Lamb

Once upon a time, there was a little lamb. She lived in the big meadow with all the other sheep, but she wasn’t like the other sheep. Oh, no, she had dreams. And plans. And ambitions to see the big, wide world! And so every day, she quietly, secretly slipped out of the big meadow...
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April 29, 2010 - House Call

We had a return visit yesterday from Dr. Casto, the very kind USDA vet who visited our farm last fall to enroll us in the federal scrapie program, a government service that tracks sheep and goats (mostly sheep) and provides free testing. (To find out more about that visit and the federal scrapie program, see...
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April 4, 2010 - All That and No Mint Jelly?

I spent about two hours yesterday chasing lambs to dock their tails. I finally tackled this one behind one of the sheep shelters. It was all very dignified. If we were some of those real farmer people, we wouldn’t be chasing lambs around. We’d corral them into the barn and corner them in a stall....
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March 31, 2010 - Prodigal Sheep

I don’t like it when the sheep get out. If one of the goats gets out, no problem. Usually, they come find me. Because they got tired of waiting for somebody to bring them cookies and are clip-clopping up the porch steps to fetch a few for themselves. When sheep get out, they don’t want...
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March 19, 2010 - Little Lamb, Little Lamb

Little lamb, little lamb, what do you see? “I see a donkey looking at me.” Donkey, donkey, what do you see? “I see a spotted dog looking at me.” Spotted dog, spotted dog, what do you see? “I see a red hen looking at me.” Red hen, red hen, what do you see? “I see...
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March 16, 2010 - She’s Still Got It

Jack’s supervising. Or something. I love the evenings. I go down to the meadow and hold the babies while the sheep get their feed. The mamas forget they have babies when feed is involved. I snuggle the babies and keep them out of the fray. I tell them I will give them a bottle and...
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March 12, 2010 - Monkey Farm

Wednesday, my sweet Miss Jacob didn’t come to dinner. The sheep always come to dinner. Sheep are pigs. It was late and already dark. Wednesday was an unusually nice and warm late winter day here. A day that felt more like spring than anything I’ve come to know as winter this year with its steep...
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April 30, 2009 - Moving Sheep

With the fencing completed in the first section of pasture in our meadow bottom and the sheep shelter built, it was time to move the sheep down the hill. The sheep were gonna love the fresh spring grass! Clover would be thrilled to have her goat yard back! “See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya,”...
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April 15, 2009 - The Return of the Tail

In the beginning, there was a little lamb and her tail. And then there came a time when that tail was banded, and after that, a time when that tail mysteriously disappeared. But that, gentle reader, that was not the end of the tale. Somebody, yes, somebody had a secret. That somebody had hidden that...
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April 12, 2009 - Milk Mouth

Annabelle is eating regular sheep feed and hay now, but oh how she loves her bottle. She gets one in the morning before she goes down to the yard and one at night before she goes to bed on her blankie on the porch. She sees me coming, nearly tackles me for it, bracing her...
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April 9, 2009 - The Tale of the Tail

Where’s your tail, Annabelle? What’d you do with it? You’re not gonna tell me, are you? And neither is this one. It’s been about three weeks since Annabelle’s tail was banded. It disappeared this week while she was sleeping on the porch. She had it with her when she came up from the goat yard...
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