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 faces. (The lambs are born tan or red and the body wool later grows out creamy, leaving the red faces.) Not surprising for an ancient breed, they’re multi-purpose. They provide flavorful meat and wool suitable for spinning and crafting, and as a bonus, they’re good milkers. I’m not sure if I want to milk sheep, but you know me, I might try anything, so the overall potential of Tunis sheep is intriguing to me. The pure Tunis sheep are beautiful and interesting, and they would make fascinating crosses with Annabelle and Crazy. They also cross exceptionally well with Suffolk, and I have my Suffolk, Ebby, now, too.
Joe’s wife is one of Morgan’s teachers at the high school. She asked Morgan the other day if we wanted a bottle lamb. Morgan told her NO. Of course. If you can’t put a saddle on it, Morgan doesn’t really want it! Fortunately, they decided to ask me for a second opinion and I couldn’t say YES fast enough.
Morgan wasn’t too surprised when she got home yesterday and I was sitting here with a bottle lamb on my lap, ha.
But first! Let me show you the lovely Woolweaver Farms. They have Belted Galloway cattle.
One was getting ready to give birth, even had feet sticking out!
I wanted to just camp out and wait for the action, but I had brought Adam with me, or he had brought me. Woolweaver Farms is on a back road, which was snow-covered, and I only wanted to go so far as the main road intersection to their farm. I am not a happy winter driver, especially on a back road. After work finished here yesterday, I followed Adam to the intersection where the road turned bad then hopped in his truck for him to take me the rest of the way. I needed to get on with business so that I could let him go home.
Also at Woolweaver Farms, along with a bunch of chickens, they have a rescue horse, a couple of ponies, and a donkey–a big one! Jack would be scared!
Behold the sheep palace.
I was so impressed with this sheep house that I must have remarked on its glory about twenty times. If it hadn’t been too big for me to put in my pocket, Joe would probably have been afraid I was going to steal it. Later I said to Adam, “He must have thought I dropped down from Mars, I was so impressed with his sheep house.”
Adam said, “You often sound like you just dropped down from Mars.”
Anyway. They have Tunis, Suffolk, and Tunis-Suffolk crosses, but I was there for a little purebred Tunis ram lamb. He was rejected by his mother, poor baby, and was in a jug (the term for a pen for a new mama sheep with her babies) with another sheep (not his mother) because she was nice to him at least and he could play with another lamb there.
I picked him up and took him inside the house where Joe let me do a bottle feeding for practice before leaving with my new adopted baby. I left with a bottle and a bag of lamb replacer milk, and a box they’d been keeping him in when he was in the house. I stopped by the store on the way home for newborn diapers. Several people asked about the diapers–
They are newborn size and I cut out a hole for the tail.
Home, I found he could climb out of the box so he is freely roaming and napping in warm corners. Gwennie took to him right away.
He’s eating at least every four hours–and needs to.
He’s a little scrawny and needs fattened up. I was up in the middle of the night for a feeding–I let him sleep in my room. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep him in the house–at some point I will move him to a barn stall. I’m expecting goat babies soon so he will have playmates eventually. And I’m also hoping I will be getting two Tunis ewe lambs from Woolweaver Farms this spring.
In the meantime, I have a bottle baby in the house!
He is beautiful! I hope you enjoy your house bottle baby.
On February 6, 2013 at 9:36 am
shirley T says:
LAWDY, LAWDY,Suzanne, you just don’t have enough work to do. You should open a day care center for children or pets.It really is a cute lamb though,you should have at least one more for a playmate.
On February 6, 2013 at 10:03 am
the face, it kills me! what a little darling!
On February 6, 2013 at 10:04 am
Auntie Linda says:
So precious. I adore farm babies. Can’t wait until I can have some of my own. Congratulations on the newest addition to your farm!!
On February 6, 2013 at 10:07 am
Thanks for the update. We’ve all been dying to know more about the baby lamb. He’s a cutie. Good luck!
On February 6, 2013 at 10:08 am
I love those Belted Galloways and always tell the kids to look at the Oreo Cows when we see them! I’m guessing they’re gaining in popularity because I only started seeing them about 10 years ago here in Texas – never before in my life! Those little cinnamon faced sheep are beautiful too!
On February 6, 2013 at 10:47 am
Oh they do have beautiful fleese/yarn :sheep: I love knitting with it and never see this kind of sheep around- love those tails!!!
On February 6, 2013 at 11:01 am
Okay, this made me smile and giggle just a bit,,,love the butt shot! lol,,,,that’s a keeper! what a cutie pie::got a name for him yet ? how’s bout “RED” ??? nice strong manly name.
On February 6, 2013 at 11:17 am
He looks like he should have a biblical name… Abraham?
On February 6, 2013 at 11:34 am
I agree, he needs a name! Boris. It’s a Hebrew name, adopted by the Russians, and it suits him. 🙂 Abraham is pretty good too, or Benjamin, or Elijah.
On February 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm
I would have expected cloth diapers from you…eww, wouldn’t that be gross! =o)
On February 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm
I raised a bottle lamb when I was a kid, she lived in the house with us. She thought she was a dachshund, we had a few of them at the time, she would race around the house with them. My parents decided that it was time for her to move outside the day she followed the dogs into their bedroom and jumped up on their bed, popping their waterbed mattress.
On February 6, 2013 at 12:35 pm
Cute baby lambie!
Love the “barn quilt” on their barn (pic #4). One of those would look great on the barn at Sassafras Farm!
On February 6, 2013 at 1:15 pm
It’s official: you’re insane. And I love it. When I grow up, I’m going to be nutty, too. We are surrounded by ugly sheep here, but those Tunis are lovely and I never thought I’d say that about sheep. Love your little lamb!
On February 6, 2013 at 1:19 pm
Old Geezer says:
I vote for the name “Aries”.
Aries is the sign of the ram.
The ruling planet of Aries is Mars, source of many human quirks.
Mars has a red face.
On February 6, 2013 at 1:48 pm
He is just the most darling little boo! So glad you are sharing this story with us.
The Woolweaver’s barn door quilt “mandala” is charming and has given me the idea to paint one on my garage door. When you are there later on, any chance you could snap a picture straight on and post it? Meanwhile, I am going to see what the internet has to offer in the way of simple quilt patterns and also google “painted barndoor quilts”. You made my day, Suzanne.
On February 6, 2013 at 1:49 pm
Check out this website. These are barn quilts in my home state, Iowa, in the county I grew up in. Hope these will inspire you!
On February 6, 2013 at 2:39 pm
Those are beautiful sheep. I love the red color. I may have to see if there are any around N/ Ga. now. Have fun with the new baby! And was that Morgan in those last few pics? She’ll be feeding that baby too.
On February 6, 2013 at 2:57 pm
I had to come back and see your page again to see the sweet little lamb. Hopefully you’ll keep us supplied with lots of lamb photos. Glad Gwennie and he are getting along.
On February 6, 2013 at 4:26 pm
Jane L says:
Lawd, he is cute! It’s probably a lot of work, but I think sheep’s milk cheese is the BEST CHEESE IN THE WORLD! Just sayin’.
On February 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm
What a sweet baby!
On February 6, 2013 at 5:51 pm
HAHAHAHA! Thanks for the diaper picture, I needed that.
On February 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm
I like the Tunis lamb. I decided to learn Tunisian crochet. I download some info on it and bought an Afghan hook already. I guess the term Tunisian comes from the Tunis sheep. Never heard of that type of sheep before I read this post. :wave:
On February 6, 2013 at 6:47 pm
:sheep: You can have everyone submit a name for the baby Lamb and then have a Drawing and see Who’s name is picked! Maybe a Prize! I love the Pictures and Story of baby Lamb. Thanks for sharing! I done bottle feeding for maltese puppy’s once when mama’s milk dried up! Was a fun time but glad mama’s milk came back! :happypuppy: 😀
On February 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm
You will love having Tunis. I adore the flock we have at work. They are the most docile and friendly breed out there. One of our ewes lets children hug and even lay on top of her while she just lays there. I mean really docile! They taste great too, but I never mention that in front of them. 😉
On February 6, 2013 at 7:10 pm
I have raised a couple of bottle lamb babies…they never forget that you are their “mommy”. Lola and Dolores still thought they should jump up in my lap for their milk, even when they had babies of their own. Enjoy your baby boy!
On February 6, 2013 at 7:48 pm
Just darling! I think Old Geezer (#15) name suggestion is right on the nark with the tie in to Mars. And Aries is a strong, studly name for him with thoughts of a flock of lady sheep in his future.
On February 6, 2013 at 9:15 pm
On the Woolweaver website, they say his name is Buddy. But it can be anything you want! I like Aries, also.
On February 6, 2013 at 9:29 pm
Love the picture of the barn quilt! The picture of the diapered lamb bum made me laugh. I can’t wait to hear all about the adventures of the bottle baby.
On February 6, 2013 at 10:13 pm
Linda Goble says:
This might sound stupid but how did you cut a hole in the diaper? I tried too cut diapers for my dog with sharp scissors an I cut my finger bad. I ended up buying the washable ones an then use a long panty liner to line them. but sometimes she leaks around the side. He looks adorable…
On February 6, 2013 at 10:31 pm
You are so right, he really does need fattening up. I just know that, in your care, he will be a little butterball in no time. It’s good that he will soon have some lamb playmates and Gwennie will fill in until that time.
On February 6, 2013 at 10:40 pm
Claudia W says:
I love those cows! They are so cool looking, and stocky!
Your bottle baby is adorable. I have no doubt that he will be all plump and healthy after a while at your farm!
On February 7, 2013 at 12:15 am
Oh my how precious. Brought back memories of when I had two bottle baby lambs we adopted. Will be looking forward to your adventures with this little one. Woolweaver’s barn quilt caught my eye as well. This farm seemed very welcoming. 🙂
On February 7, 2013 at 1:25 am
What did you end up naming this cutie?
On July 30, 2014 at 7:58 pm