Sunday, March 18, 2007

It's a sheep's life...

Dolly plays hide and seek in the garden.

Meet Dolly. She's a sheep. Dolly is without a doubt the smartest sheep I've ever met. If you stake Dolly out to graze, and should she be tied, say, to a tree...well, like most animals she'd go round and round until she had very little rope left. But unlike most animals, Dolly figured out how to go around the other way, thereby lengthening her rope again. Pretty smart for a sheep!


Dolly meanders casually across the yard as though she belongs out there.

Dolly is also an escape artist. Last year at this time I would sit down to the computer and look out the window. If I didn't see Dolly out in my front yard, I'd become worried. Not that Dolly was supposed to be in my front yard, and certainly City Boy didn't appreciate the natural fertilizer she left behind. No, Dolly should have been in the pasture with everyone else. But since she never was, and since she was always in my front yard, if I didn't see her I'd wonder what had happened and go outside to see where she was.


Dolly was always my first ewe to lamb in the spring. This was taken almost a year ago to the day. Look how wide her body is! Look at that huge udder! And she waited another week before giving birth.



Mory and Tevy were born March 26. Mory was just over 11 pounds, Tevy was just under. Dolly is an excellent mother!


Mory and Tevy visit with 'Uncle Walter'
They are approximately 12 hours old here.


Mory and Tevy, less than 24 hours, out grazing with Dolly.



Did you know that lambs were born with tails? Some sheep, such as icelandics, have naturally short tails. But others like Dolly (she's a suffolk dorset cross) have long tails. When the lambs are a couple days old, a band is put around their tails. As they grow, the band becomes gradually tighter, killing off the nerves. After about 14 days, the tail falls off. Now, don't get all squeamish! It's rather like sitting with your foot under you, and having it fall asleep. When the tail is small, it will grow into the band the there's minimal discomfort; even then, it's only a few moments before the lamb feels nothing.



Why would we dock the tail to begin with? Those tails have a lot of wool, and feces and urine will stick in it, drawing flies. This creates a problem known as fly strike, which can cause illness in your sheep. Better to have a pinching moment at two days than get sick later on from fly strike.

Tevy runs for joy!



Darling and Tevy.
Who wouldn't just snuggle their face down into that sweet lambs wool?

I hope you've enjoyed this glimpse into lambing here at Carpenter Creek!

18 comments:

Dawn said...

Very interesting! Especially about the tails - makes perfect sense to me. Our sermon today was about the 1 lost lamb.

Morning Glory is my sister-in-law, just FYI. Thanks for letting me know.

Gail said...

I want one, and some goats to!
Looking at that sweet little face it is easy to understand why God called Jesus "the Lamb of God, that takes away our sins"
Great photos Tracy, and yes I think you must have kissed the Blarney stone. Hugs, :-)

Tammy said...

I just love lambs as "Lamb" is my maiden name...and I've never tasted any, don't want to!!
:-D

Jean said...

Very interesting post! I especially like the picture of Dolly in the garden! Thanks for the info!

FarmgirlCyn said...

I, too, would love to have a couple of sheep, but we really have no where to put them. The hen house is for the chickens and the garage is for the van. The pond is for the ducks, and that's it. No room. But Dolly is a sweetie!

Rachelle said...

Oh I definetly want lots of pics when Taffy finally decides to lamb. (See the April 1st date doesn't look to outlandish now.)

It's kind of like how we castrate the young buck goats here, put a band on at a few days old and in a week or so it falls off and they never know they lost it. Much easier.

I love the pics... too bad hubby doesn't like sheep... sigh.. I will keep working on him tho.

Sharon Lynne said...

I enjoyed meeting Dolly and learning more about sheep! I'm working on a children's story that involves sheep, so it will be wonderful have a blog to read--about sheep.

Sarah said...

That tale information really surprised me. Never gave much thought to it but it is intriguing now that I think about it!
What cute lil baby pics. :)

Tracey said...

I'm so glad you're all enjoying the sheep!

The tail thing really surprises folks. I had a friend years ago who bought a ewe and when she lambed, my friend called the vet to tell him something was wrong with her lambs, that they had tails!

Gail, I'm completely convinced that we are sheep~not that we follow blindly, as Dolly certainly points out that there are independent thinkers. Sheep are sweet, innocent, mischevious and little trouble makers; but I love them dearly! =)

Tina Leigh said...

VERY interesting! I really enjoyed that. As usual...beautiful pictures!

Jill said...

How cool! Your pictures are awesome & the sheep couldn't be any cuter.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog. I've bookmarked you & I'll be stopping by often!

Jill said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Little Miss Moi said...

Dear tracey. Your photos are great. Thanks for the glimpse. Now I want to go and buy a lamb. Not sure how it will fit in the apartment...

Liam's Mom - Gina said...

Awesome post! I learned some new things here. I love that last photo! I wanna snuggle that lamb too!

Sue said...

Yes, very interesting, I didn't know that about the tails. I've raised goats before, very similar but they keep their tails! I love the shot of the tevy running!

Bluepaintred said...

so cute! i loved all the pictures!

do sheep usually have twins?

Kahshe Cottager said...

What darling little lamby faces - how could you not want to cuddle with them? You have talent with your camera and words Tracey!

Alpicks Treasures said...

How sweet...